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Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Many ad campaigns use door hangers as effective tools for creating awareness through direct marketing.

While both cost efficient and effective, door hangers reach the target market directly. Although some think of them as a nuisance, they are effective marketing tools. They can be produced in large or small quantities and can range in size and number of colors to fit most marketing needs and budgets. Most door hangers are distributed by fast food chains or lawn services, but can also be very effective marketing tools for Real Estate Companies, Mortgage Company’s, Banks, Churches, Resale Shops, etc.

Anyone trying to generate awareness within a given geographical area can benefit from these low cost printed pieces. The Dallas area for instance can be segmented into a variety of sub sectors and income levels to meet your target market. They can be custom printed to fit almost any budget. Coupons can be an integral part of the doorhanger success. You need a call to action for the customer to act. For instance mortgage doorhangers can give a coupon off closing costs or entry to a drawing to reduce their interest rate.

The point of doorhangers is to put this in the hands of consumers at the time that may be considering the use of that product. Taking the mortgage doorhanger as an example again the low interest rates that are present now have many considering either refinancing or purchasing a home. Put this doorhanger in their hands while they are considering a new mortgage and you have a powerful tool to help you have the opportunity to land customers. Doorhangers can be produced digitally in small quantities on up to large quantities being printed offset. Once the diecutting die is made it is a very inexpensive, fast and effective marketing tool for your business.

See also:
Diecutting in Printing
Picking a Printing Company
Full Color Commercial Printing

Article written by:
Jay Atkinson
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Printing Digital Business Cards


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Printing Digital Business Cards" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
There are numerous digital online printing services for business cards.
I have some real thoughts on how best to do business cards digitally to insure success. First of all, I would not recommend printing business cards digitally on a gloss cover. All of us tend to abuse business cards more than other printed products. We sit on them, throw them in our purse and other chances for them to rub up against each other.

Digital printing inks are not always good at standing up to the rubbing abrasion and so they can scratch. You can limit this some by putting a coating over them but this is an added cost and will meet with varying success. Matte cover will not scratch as badly as the gloss cover so it will do better if you want a coated stock. It still will scratch under heavy use.

The best stock in my opinion to digitally print business cards on is a uncoated stock. I really like printing on 100# uncoated cover. This is a step thicker from 80# uncoated cover and will stand up to abuse very well. Historically, most business cards have been printed on uncoated stock so if you want to look established you are better off on uncoated anyway. Only since digital printing has grown in popularity has printing business cards on coated covers become more accepted. Some people don't want to print on uncoated because they lose ink density on uncoated. In digital printing, while you will lose some density of ink it is not as bad as printing on offset. This is due to very little ink absorption due to the digital printing process.

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Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Articles about Graphic Arts

If you have found this site and are either learning or just enjoying reading about commercial printing there are some other sites that have more in depth articles to read. Many of these articles will discuss more micro subjects about equipment, processes and the printing industry in general.

These are in no particular order of preference or use:
- American Printer
- Quick Printing
- Printing Impressions

All processes of offset printing, web printing, digital printing and the finishing industries are discussed. These are just some of the graphic art tools that are available to the industry. Print procurement systems and prepress workflows are also discussed at pretty regular intervals.

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Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Full Color Commercial Printing

What does the term full color commercial printing mean?
Full color printing usually means printing in the primary colors of CMYK. That being cyan(c), magenta(m), yellow(y) and black(k). These four colors print the vast spectrum of colors that it takes to represent photographs. Cyan is a light blue, magenta is a rosy red and then yellow and black are self explanatory.

Digital Color Printer


By using different screen percentages of these four colors, commercial printers can print color photographs. You can actually see these dots if you look at a printed piece with some form of magnification. A commercial printer is a printing company that uses either digital presses or offset presses to print commercial work. Presses come in different unit configurations. Each unit represents a color. A four color press then has the ability to print a job in one pass on one side unless it is a perfecting press which can actually print on both sides of the sheet in one pass.

You would need an 8 unit perfecting press to print CMYK on both sides of the sheet in one pass. If you have a 2-color press you have to print two of the 4 primary colors and then run the same side through the press again registering to the first 2 colors. Full Color Commercial Printing is also done by digital printing. Full color commercial printing only represents that you are doing CMYK printing so you can provide reproduction of color photographs.

See also:
- Perfecting Presses
- Line Screen in Printing
- All Digital Printing is not the Same.
- Picking a Printing Company

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Software Programs in Printing

As a commercial printer we get files from all kinds of software programs. There are many high quality graphics programs that are made for printing RIP's. You can or will use multiple programs to produce a print job. Indesign, Quark, and Pagemaker are page layout programs. Illustrator is made to create graphics and vector art. Some typesetting is available in Illustrator. Photoshop is made for images. I would not recommend typesetting in Photoshop. This is a list of preferred programs that most commercial printers will support:
InDesign
Quark Express
Adobe Illustrator
Freehand
Photoshop
Pagemaker

Then there are many programs that meet with varying successes and qualities that people try and use. It is usually dictated by what they have available to them. These programs are not made necessarily to print from on a commercial print rip. Some of these are:
Corel Draw
Powerpoint
Excel
Word
Publisher
These sometimes will work fine but at other times just will not rip or will error out with no explanations. The normal answer is we printed this before and it worked fine or we printed on our color laser printer and it was fine. It's not that these programs can't work it's just that they are not consistently successful, like programs that are made for professional graphic printing and professional graphic RIP's.

Your best chance of success would be to turn it into a high quality PDF file. Convert all colors from RGB to CMYK. Pick spot colors from the Pantone palette. Don't just create a color blue let's say. Include all fonts and supporting graphics or change the fonts to outlines. Did you include bleed if the image goes to the edge of the sheet? If it does you must pull all graphics and colors an 1/8" past the trim. If you know you are digital printing a 1/16" will be sufficient. Put the page size of the document as the trim size. Choosing the right software program can have crucial effects on the quality of your printed product and how much your commercial printer can help you in resolving issues.

See also:
CMYK No-No
Picking a Printing Company
Printing Terms

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company


Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Debossing vs Embossing


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Debossing vs Embossing" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
Both of these terms are letterpress terms that describe the pushing of paper to a level not equal to the original surface. These are done with dies and counter dies and the paper is squeezed between the two of them. Embossing represents pushing the image up above the paper. Debossing is pushing the image below the level of the paper.

Think of it this way. You are walking along and fall in a hole. That is debossing. If you're walking along and all the sudden come to a hill that is embossing. Both are neat effects that you can use in your printed projects to accent the piece. Both can be done blind(no ink) or color register(with ink). Embossing is used much more than debossing. When used in conjunction with heat and pressure it will iron the fibers of the paper to a smooth surface.

See also:
- What is a Letterpress?
- Diecutting in Printing
- Kisscutting in Printing
- Embossing from Wikipedia
- Embossing machines and suppliers from the ODP

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
What is a Full size printing press?


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "What is a Full size printing press?" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
A full size printing press is one that is capable of printing up to a 28"x40" printed sheet. It will also print sheet sizes smaller than that but 28"x40" is the maximum size. This size press is the most popular size and is made for medium to longer run quantity print jobs. There are larger printing press sizes than even this but there are not that many around. The full size press will take two people to operate and have become less popular as final end user quantities have decreased in the last 10 years.

Manufacturers of some of these presses are: Heidelberg, Komori, Mitsubishi and others.

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Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Perfecting Presses

A printing press that can print both sides of the sheet in one pass is called a perfecting press. So instead of printing a sheet on one side and waiting for it to dry and then turning the sheet over reloading and putting it back through the press to print the other side it can be done in one pass. These were primarily limited to uncoated sheets and light to medium coverage.

Perfecting press Speedmaster Heidelberg


Some presses can perfect on coated sheets now, although, it is taken on a job by job basis. Under the right circumstances it can save time and money. The sheet is actually flipped in the press and gripped from the other side of the sheet. The guide stays the same. This leads you to possibly needing to back trim the sheet to make sure all sheets are the same size. If the printed sheets vary in size the register will vary. Perfecting presses are real good to use on printed manuals with black over black content that is mostly text. It can increase your production by more than 100%.

See also:
-Bindery services for printing
-What is a Page to a Printer?
-Offset Printing-What does it mean?
-Sizes of Printing Presses

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Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
Digital printing in Dallas
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Line Screen in Printing

Line screen represents the number of lines in an inch on screens in either halftones or four color process images. In theory the more lines per inch the more detailed your photos. This is not to be mistaken with dots per inch which is more of a computer resolution term.

Printers can use anywhere from say a 65 LPI screen to produce grainy images like in old newspapers to 300 LPI to try and reproduce as close to a continuous tone photograph. Most printed products are printed within a range of 133 LPI to 200 LPI. Choices can be made due to the paper you are printing on or the effect you are after. On coated paper you will usually print a higher LPI where on uncoated you actually will have a better printed piece if you go on the lower end of the scale. This is due to the type of ink holdout that each sheet presents.

See also:
- Printing Terms article

Written By Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
What is a Small Format Press?

A Small Format press is a printing press that feeds a 14"x20" press sheet and is made for the short quantity market for printed products such as: Postcards, Brochures, Flyers, etc. A short run for us is defined as more than say 250 press sheets but less than 10,000 press sheets. I say press sheets because you may have multiple up of a postcard that you are doing 20,000 of but you may only have say 5000 press sheets.

The Small Format press popularity grew as order quantities have decreased. Many different press manufacturers manufacture these presses: Heidelberg, Komori, Ryobi and others. This press only takes one operator and makeready waste and materials will cost less than a full size or half size press.

You would not want to do real long runs on Small Format presses. Let's say you are doing 100,000 postcards and you can get 4-up on a small format press versus 16 up on a full size press the per unit price in higher quantities will be less with the full size press.

Related Articles:

Here is the website of one such press manufacturer: Heidelberg

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Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
What is a Half Size Press?

Printers talk in weird terms sometimes. The term half size press represents a press that will feed a 20" x 28" sheet or smaller. It is called half size because a full size press feeds 28"x40" sheet.

Half size presses have increased in popularity as quantities have decreased that final customers are ordering. It takes one person to run versus two on a full size press. You have less makeready waste and plates are less expensive. This gives half size presses an advantage in doing short run brochures, flyers and other printed materials.

Of course, the press manufacturers then came up with small format presses(14"x20") to compete with the half size presses. Digital presses also compete with both the small format and the half size. In the printing business every press fills a niche. Make sure the printer you are using has the right press to fit the right quantity. Many printers have multiple size presses to fit a wide range of quantity needs.

Related Article:

See a better description of press sizes and configurations here:
Heidelberg Presses

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