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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

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Printing Services That Specialize in More Exotic, Custom Printing

Not all business printing jobs involve “ink on paper.” Some are more unusual than a print catalog, a print newsletter, or marketing postcards. Here are a few of these and the kinds of printers you might want to approach for an estimate:

Large-format signage to hang on the exterior wall of a building: If you plan to produce a huge banner, let’s say 13 feet x 17 feet, you’re probably going to need a sign shop or at least a printer with a large-format flatbed or roll-fed inkjet printer. Exterior graphics need to withstand weather (moisture) and sunlight (UV radiation) to maximize their lifespan and minimize ink fading. Special inks will be required, such as solvent inks, rather than the dyes used for interior graphics. The printer will probably produce these oversized graphics in strips, which will be sewn together to create the final image. The edges will be turned and sewn for durability, and grommets will be added for the ropes that will suspend the sign from the side of the building. Again, look for “sign shops” and “large-format graphics” in your Internet search.

Bags, t-shirts, hats, mugs, pens: These are called “novelties” or “promotional items” and are usually produced on screen printing equipment. Due to the limitations of screen printing on fabrics and ceramics, the artwork used for such items usually is simpler than for other types of printing. This means that you would create the design in only one or two PMS colors, expect coarser screens for halftones (lower screen rulings), and understand that registration of colors will not be perfect. That said, many print shops that specialize in novelties can inkjet art onto decals, which can then be applied to the surfaces of these items. Decals allow you to create and print more complex artwork.

Business forms and checks: Forms printers produce all manner of business paperwork. This might include multi-part application forms with two or three copies in bright colors, perhaps with sequential “crash” numbering. Other specialties would include checks, some printed with magnetic ink or toner (known as MICR) that can be “read” by special equipment. You might also approach such a printer for continuous forms (one long sheet of fan-folded paper with perforations between the forms). These might be NCR forms (“no carbon required”) treated with a substance that allows multiple copies to be made as you print on the first copy (like carbon paper). Start your Google search with the words “business forms.”

Labels: Whether you want to produce Crack’n Peel decals to stick on a spiral-bound notebook, or a wine bottle label, you need a specialty printer. Wine bottles, for instance, need labels that can withstand moisture and dramatic changes in temperature, without coming off the bottle or having their ink smear. Special inks and adhesives may be needed. Printers specializing in this kind of work will have the knowledge to produce labels (often with sequential numbering) for medical use, industrial applications, or any number of other fields.

Approach these printing companies with the same diligence you use for all your work. Whether you’re looking for custom bottle labels, large format printing, custom screen printing, or t-shirt printing, the same rules apply. Go beyond the estimate. Request printed samples, and discuss the project with the printer to make sure you have the right vendor for the job.

6 Responses to “Printing Services That Specialize in More Exotic, Custom Printing”

  1. legal law says:

    I really liked your blog!

  2. newsday sports says:

    This is a wonderful blog and a nice summary here.

  3. social house says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.


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