Changes in how our businesses are structured and how reliant we’ve become on technology have dramatically changed how we do business. There was a day when we all worked in offices [not HOME offices], we communicated via landlines and snail-mail, and advertising and marketing efforts were not available to us as DIY options due to ability and cost.
Technological advances have provided options that are so much more accessible to small businesses, like blogging, creating our own online promotions, Smartphones, QR codes, and digital printing. While these wonderful tools provide solutions suitable for smaller budgets, some of the “old” ways are still viable and necessary options.
Digital Printing is one of these tools. We print everything from photos to business cards to flyers and tri-fold brochures from our home & office printers and retail quick print services [Staples, Kinko’s, etc]. How do we know which is the best choice for our needs? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Digital printing is quick, and ideal for lower quantity runs. It offers the option of variable data allowing you to personalize the message, addressee, and/or images on each printed item – an effective marketing tool that enables your message to be customized for each recipient. This alone brings targeted marketing within reach of the small business.
On the downside, inks used in digital printing are not absorbed into the paper. As a result, folded edges will often show “cracking” in the color, where the paper color is peeking through. There are limitations on the stock and sizes that can be used in digital printing as well.
Commercial Offset printing still offers the highest quality printing and best color control. If your color matching needs are critical, this is the only method that provides true control. This method also offers the ability to print spot colors, which are produced by printing a custom or PMS color [not process color] using a separate plate. Many special effects such as spot varnishes are produced this way. Offset printing allows many more options for size, specialized inks, and paper stock, which are not cost-effective using a digital press.
Since much of the cost in offset printing is due to the pre-press preparation, printing large quantities will decrease your cost per item, and printing is dramatically faster than digital printing. We hope these tips have helped you to better understand the choices available to your business for your marketing needs. Graphic Matter’s print specialists have an exceptional degree of experience in the technical aspects of commercial print, offset, digital, variable and prepress, as well as image retouching services. Give us a call.