Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange (printindustry.com) 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.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

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.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at info@printindustry.com.

Blog Articles for PrintIndustry.com

Archive for July, 2021

Custom Prints and Branding

Saturday, July 31st, 2021

Customisation is the buzzword across different brands in the world today. These brands help individuals get unique identities, enabling them to stand out from others. Similarly, customisation also helps businesses in creating an identity of their own. A variety of industries, ranging from education to pharmaceuticals and fashion choose custom design printing options

The visual medium is very important for a brand. It needs to be able to create an image that is retained in the minds of a customer. With the help of custom design printing, customers can get any type of image printed on various substrates. Some of the printing companies also allow their customers to create their own designs and print them. This is helpful for large organizations where employees feel a sense of belonging while wearing custom printed tees.

Choosing a Suitable Printing Company 

It is important to select the print company that best meets organizational needs. The decision is not just based on quality but also on affordability and turnaround time. Past references always help to tilt the balance in favor of a particular company. Custom print items are usually purchased in bulk. While in some cases the client purchases the items and gets them printed, companies may themselves buy the item and get it printed as well.

Images made by a well-known print company will always appear distinctive and pretty on various substrates. Businesses can get designs, photos, or text printed on books, business cards, caps, T-shirts, and other surfaces. Well-made images are immensely beneficial from the marketing perspective. If at all the brand is leaving a concept open to imagination, it must be conveyed accordingly.

Features of Custom Printing

B2B customers will see these features of custom prints:

1) Several Finishing Options

2) Use of die-cut shapes and different sizes

3) Quirky Folding Options

4) Coating or Custom Paper

5) Numerous Binding Options

To show the above features, here are the names of the techniques used: 

1) Use of 100% Recycled Paper

2) Embossing

3) Die Cutting

4) Perforating

5) Metallic Inks

6) Round Corners

7) Custom Papers

8) Spiral Binding

9) Pantone Inks

10) Spot Varnish

Digital prints have transformed the way print is treated today. Customisation is the biggest advantage of digital print, where no permanent plate is used. Even in case of a spelling or design error, the used file can be easily modified to change the final output.

Nature of Clients

These are the types of clients who generally require custom print services:

  • Corporations
  • Brokers
  • Small Businesses
  • Publishers
  • Advertising and Marketing Firms
  • Graphic Design Companies
  • Educational Institutions
  • Healthcare Companies

Custom Printed Postcards 

It may be hard to believe, but many companies are using letters and postcards for direct marketing. The low cost makes them perfect for marketing and they can be customised as well. Good print quality from a reputed print company plays a major role in conveying the right marketing message. So, there is no need to employ a large number of people for receiving digital prints.

 

Custom Printing: Spruce Up Your Design Work with Metallics and Foiling

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Photo purchased from … www.depositphotos.com

Nothing shines like gold. Nothing is as opulent. So when you print an invitation to a classy event, or you design a business card for an upscale customer, consider adding the luster of this metal to your print product.

That said, commercial printing of metallics does have its challenges, shall we say, but it’s worth it. It really does make an impression.

Offset Printing Metallics

First of all, gold ink is not really gold. It is composed of flakes of reflective metal (actual metal) such as zinc, copper, aluminum, or bronze (depending on whether you’re creating a gold look or a silver look) suspended in the vehicle, or fluid part, of the ink. Because of this, it can flake off, or it can tarnish. Therefore, it’s essential to print on a gloss coated stock and coat the sheet after the custom printing process with an aqueous or UV coating. The reason for choosing the coated sheet is that the ink sits up on the surface of a coated sheet (more effectively on a gloss than matte sheet) and does not seep into the paper fibers as much as with an uncoated sheet. (This is called ink holdout.)

(Personally, I’d also ask your commercial printing vendor about the chance that the specific coating may adversely react to the metal and foster tarnishing. I know that a press varnish will yellow over time, and this could cause problems as well. So also tell your printer how long the printed product needs to last. Is it a promo piece that will be received, looked at briefly, and discarded, or does it need to look good for a long time? You may even want to ask about shelf life if, for example, you’re printing 1,000 business cards. You don’t want the last 500 copies to look tarnished.)

Metallic ink (whether gold or silver, or even a metallic blue or red, which are currently in vogue) is not one of the process inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). So you will need an extra unit on an offset press, which will also cost a bit more. The additional spot ink, which will fall into the category of a PMS Metallic Ink, will need its own printing plate. It cannot be combined with the process color screens to create another hue.

All of this presumes you have chosen offset custom printing, although I would assume that any of the other traditional, analogue printing methods, including rotogravure and flexography, would treat the ink separation (and plating) process the same. So talk with your print provider about how you need to set up the art files using InDesign to ensure that the gold, bronze, copper, or whatever other color you choose winds up on its own plate.

Finally, don’t assume that every printer knows how to do a good job printing metallics. It is a skill, an art. Request printed samples to make sure you’ll be happy with the printed result. Also, you may want to pay extra for an actual press proof if the job is very high profile. Expect this to be expensive. You’re essentially paying for a separate press run (albeit on a small press). But for the right project, it may be worth it.

So what can you use metallics for? They’re great for a logo (but do keep in mind that if you start off with metallics on a logo, you’ll need to print them—at a premium—each time). Again, this may be worth it for the “Wow” factor. On brochures, they can highlight text or line art. They can make stationery look sophisticated. And if you use a six- or eight-unit press, you can add an additional metallic for a special graphic treatment (CMYK plus two metallics, for instance).

Again, all of this is based on traditional offset lithography, which is only one of several options.

Foil Stamping Metallics

Let’s say you want to print a special invitation in silver ink on a black uncoated paper. If you used traditional offset lithography, the vehicle of the ink would seep into the paper. Most probably the metallic ink would wind up being uneven (not of the same consistency on all portions of the text or imagery). This could look like a serious mistake on the final (expensive) print run.

So what can you do? You can skip offset commercial printing and produce the invitation using foil stamping. Your print provider would first have a metal cutting die made for all text and line art. Then, using a foil stamping press (an impact printing press rather than an offset press), the printer will foil stamp the front and back of the black paper invitation using heat and pressure, providing an even layer of type and graphics impossible to achieve (in this case) only using ink on paper.

But you’ll have to pay extra for the stamping die, which will be subcontracted out by the printer and which will therefore add time to the custom printing process.

Foil stamping does, however, tend to look spectacular, and the text and graphics are far more likely to be of consistent density on even an uncoated paper. Plus the look of the type and graphics will be even more glossy than with metallic ink.

Also, you can have the printer laminate (maybe a soft-touch laminate) the job to add extra thickness, protection, and an interesting feel.

That said, it’s wise to get printed samples from your vendor, because this is skilled work that not all print providers can do well.

Digitally Printing Metallics

Gloriously, we now live in a digital age, and there’s no lack of metallic and foil simulations available if you are not ready for the expense of foil stamping and your design doesn’t lend itself to the less expensive option of offset lithography.

Here are some companies you may want to research:

Indigo: Hewlett Packard and Indigo Ink have been working on digital metallic options, including a metallic silver that can be used as a spot color (for separate text, line art, and such), and can also be printed under the CMYK toner for a multicolored, metallic appearance or a metallic sheen on any distinct CMYK color build.

Keep in mind that this is a toner-based print product (toner particles suspended in a liquid oil base). However, I have personally seen incredible results, a dramatic color gamut, and incredible resolution—plus the variable data printing capability of a digital-only workflow.

In addition, be mindful that the metallic look is more matte (less glossy) when compared to foil stamping. But you can include an unlimited number of metallic effects on the same press sheet. And you can use uncoated paper. Plus it’s cheaper than the other options, and it’s variable data commercial printing.

Scodix: According to my reading, Indigo Ink can print a coating under the CMYK toner particles to achieve their striking look, but (in contrast) Scodix Metallic can add a clear polymer coating over the CMYK inks to achieve spectacular color effects. Scodix also offers foiling capabilities as well as embossing capabilities, so you could conceivably include all of these plus multiple metallics in a single printed product. Plus, an additional Scodix SENSE coating can protect the underlying image from scratches and scuffs, something not possible with traditional foil stamping.

Keep in mind that all of this is digital. There is no metal die-making (as in foil stamping or traditional embossing), and you can vary the image from one print to the next. If you look closely, though, you will see that the process is an additive manufacturing one, with the polymer coatings built up on top of the press sheet (i.e., with no indentation on the back of the press sheet as with traditional embossing).

What you get from this technology, among other things, is the ability not only to vary printed products from one unit to the next but also to inexpensively produce single prototypes. You can make an accurate model of a high-end marketing piece (or even a special packaging initiative for cosmetics, for example). Then, if the client likes it, you can roll out the rest of the print run. Or you can make changes and then roll out the job. You definitely can’t do this with traditional analog processes without spending a lot of money and time.

Vivid3D: I received a sample from a binder and presentation box company recently showcasing multilevel sculpted embossing (with no indentations on the back of the sheet); transparent blue, silver, gold, and clear foil effects; and something called “splash,” which looks to me like reticulating varnish (a textural, patterned effect). All of this is on the same press sheet. None of it requires die-making. Wow.

So if you do nothing else, check out Scodix, Indigo, and Vivid3D. I’m sure there are more hot companies as well. You may also want to search for “digital enhancement.” I think that’s a good starting point. And you’ll have a world of options for all budgets, between these and the traditional analog processes of offset lithography and foil stamping. Good luck. Don’t look back.

Know Everything About Color Printing Service

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

No one would not be impressed if they received colored business cards instead of the traditional pale white ones. Bright colors in the proper combination might help you get your desired outcomes. There is no alternative for real color business stationery, and you can now acquire the highest quality of these via internet services. There are several reasons why you should hire professional color printing online instead of relying on traditional methods.

Today’s printing options are considerably more diverse than they were a decade ago. Color printing online is displacing brick and mortar printing businesses. Is it all glitz and glam, or are there some flaws? Let’s have a look.

Service Is Available Around The Clock.

Instant access to information and services is the first and most evident. You don’t have to drive to your printer anymore. Any online printing provider with templates and an online designer allows customers to purchase business cards from the convenience of their own workplace or home. It’s all about immediate satisfaction, and it’s a tremendous time and money-saving.

Price

Yes, the cost is an important consideration. Although I don’t believe apples and oranges can be compared. The personal touch offsets the high cost of a brick-and-mortar printing firm. In some instances, meeting face to face may be preferable. However, most concerns or questions may be resolved with a simple phone call or email.

When searching for a deal, be sure you’re not getting nickeled and dimed. Many online printing firms attempt to increase sales by adding on additional services and features. Look for a printer who is open and honest about the ultimate pricing.

Flexibility

Inserting an uploaded picture into your design is a breeze. You don’t like what you’ve just done, do you? Delete, modify, or restart. You may also save your designs to edit or present to your peers at a later time. A design can be stored under a different name as well. This allows you to create a single master design that all of your employees can use. Online printing services are made to be adaptable.

Professional Designs Are Available.

When working with a professional, good design may be costly. For example, properly designed business cards need effort and talent. For someone searching for a low-cost method to get started, having access to well-designed logos and templates is a huge benefit. However, there are occasions when you require a unique design, such as a logo or a postcard for your new real estate listing. Make sure your online printing provider is versatile and capable of handling such jobs. Make sure your final printed content appears professional in any situation. Don’t waste your money on shoddy, amateurish designs. Consider your online printing services to be an extension of your company.

Use a high-quality color printing online service to match the high-quality output you require to ensure that all of your creative efforts pay off.

Are you looking for some high-quality marketing tools? Brochures, stationery, presentation folders, catalogs, newsletters, and business cards are all items that should be printed utilizing online color printing services. Whether it’s a trade exhibition, product catalogs, professional-looking mailers, or just improving your newsletter, you can be confident that employing the newest online color printing services will put your company over the top.

Custom Book Printing Made Convenient

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

Digital prints have become more popular than traditional prints over the years. The entire printing process today also takes much lesser time than earlier. Every company that ties up with a reputed print vendor stands to benefit over time. Printing books has become much easier due to the work by book printing companies.
There may be plenty of book printing companies in the market, but only a few will help grow businesses. Printing companies with a favorable reputation in the market must only be chosen. Every organization deserves the best printing services, and it works out to be very affordable if the job is outsourced.

Who Buys Custom Books?

A custom book is one that belongs to a specific niche only, and is often used for branding purposes. Types of individuals and organizations who would require such books include:

Printing Companies
Self-Publishers
Marketing and Advertising Firms
General Public
Small Businesses
Graphic Design Firms

Receive Printing Quotes

B2B print customers are eligible to get print quotes. Such quotes are provided free of cost and are most suitable in case of bulk orders. Since most print companies are available online, they can be contacted 24/7, on all days of the week.

Several marketing materials such as brochures and catalogs would be required on long term basis, and so these should be purchased in bulk. Brochures are important for showcasing the beauty of products and services, with all the elements being available in compact and beautiful form.

Use of High Quality Paper

All printed material, whether for brochures, custom books, or anything else, must be of high quality. It must be possible for B2B customers to customize print according to their requirements. For instance, unless catalogs and brochures of a school are made using high quality paper, they will never be able to create positive impressions.

How Budding Authors Can Succeed

A lot of new writers look for affordable ways to make their stories public. One such way is to get in touch with a well known print company that charges reasonable rates. Submitting pages over the Internet is no problem at all since all the print businesses have now become online. In this way, budding authors will be able to create waves through their storytelling, without having to worry about book printing costs.

Switch to Digital Prints

It is true that digital prints are a lot faster and more convenient than traditional prints, as a result of which they are more in demand. Technology is clearly going to show the way forward in the printing industry and so customers must look for various technology-driven options.
Digital marketing primarily makes use of social media and other aspects of the Internet to promote products. The use of digital prints creates a perfect amalgamation to show where businesses are today.
Customers Have Options
Digital print gives customers several options, especially in terms of paper usage and margin sizes. A minimum order quantity is usually specified on most websites. The degree to which print is now customizable has never been possible in the past.

Commercial Printing: Point of Purchase (POP) and Point of Sale (POS) Displays

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Photo purchased from … www.depositphotos.com

Think about the last time you went into a grocery store and saw—in spite of all the other competing signage—the signature green color of a Starbucks kiosk. No matter what else is going on visually (the overload of images), this particular green plus the double-fish-tailed siren of the Starbucks logo are immediately recognizable. Such is the power of branding.

In-store, large-format print signage and similar advertising products catch the potential buyer where seventy percent of retail store purchases are decided: right in the store (according to “What Is a Point-of-Purchase Display?”, Shari Waters, 07/27/20). This signage (plus a number of other options we will discuss) fits into the advertising category called “point-of-purchase” or POP displays.

You may have also heard the term “point-of-sale” (POS) display. Based on my research it seems that the only distinction between the two is where the display is positioned in the store. Point-of-purchase displays can go anywhere in the store. Point-of-sale displays are the ones at the cash register, where the actual sales transaction occurs. (These are also associated with the concept of the “impulse buy.” A properly positioned POP large-format print sign can encourage buyers to add items to their planned purchase at the last minute.)

What Is a Point-of-Purchase Display?

A physical description of such a display would range from a sign to a banner stand to an actual free-standing cardboard shelf or box holding or not holding the branded products in question. It can even be a floor graphic describing the specific branded products.

A marketing description of a POP display has more to do with its effect. If store shelves are full of competing brands’ products, how can you distinguish yours from theirs? Moreover, if you want to sell complementary products (let’s say two different kinds of beauty products made by the same company), how can you motivate the potential customer to look for the other product(s)? Point-of-purchase displays do exactly this.

(In light of this two-part description, the standees my fiancee and I assembled for almost a decade in movie theaters would be point-of-purchase displays. They were cardboard constructs used to promote current or upcoming movies. Their purpose was to pique the viewer’s curiosity, to entice her or him to buy tickets for multiple movies over the next few days or weeks. And they used startling colors, typography, and die cuts (plus in many cases their gigantic size) to grab the moviegoer’s sole attention in a sea of movie posters, banners, and perhaps smaller standees. “Eyeballs,” they call it. Advertisers want your attention.)

(As a further aside, if you enter a grocery store, you may see point-of-purchase displays that are not made from cardboard but rather are electronic devices. Digital displays fit this marketing product category as well.)

The Specifics

Here are some relevant terms pertaining to point-of-purchase displays:

  1. Shelf talker: This is a sticker, small poster, or any other graphic placed on a product shelf to draw additional attention to a product. In CVS, for instance, you’ll see small posters of fashion models attached to the cosmetics shelves. These catch the customers’ attention as they travel down the aisle.
  2. Dump bins: These are cardboard displays into which products have been dumped: like fruit-and-nut power bars just piled into a box on a printed display structure.
  3. Freestanding displays: These are more organized versions of the dump boxes.
  4. Vendor shops: These would include the Starbucks display I mentioned. If you are a brand owner and you can pay for a store within a store (essentially), your customers will have no trouble finding you. On the other hand, if you display your products on the regular shelves, they may not be as visible to buyers. If buyers have to look for something, you could lose a sale.
  5. Endcap displays: These are like the other displays, but they are placed at the end of an aisle (prime marketing space). This means the signage has no competition (when compared to regular shelf storage space). They also make buying easier in that customers don’t need to go down an aisle to get a product. The products are all right there at the end of the aisle.
  6. Banner stands: These don’t hold any products. They just hold signage at the proper height.

Why Are Point-of-Purchase and Point-of-Sale Displays Important?

First of all, these large-format print display products add to a brand’s visibility without costing much, compared to other kinds of marketing. Think about the cost of an ad in a publication or the cost to rent a billboard.

Also, they catch the customer’s interest when she or he is already in the store, presumably ready or almost ready to buy.

They can be placed anywhere in a store that will direct the customer to a particular brand or a particular product. Moving point-of-purchase displays around in a store is usually easy.

Point-of-purchase displays offer more space than custom labels to describe products, show people using them, and/or provide any other useful information. Or they can be used to let customers know about discounts, related products, etc.

Floor graphics, which are relatively new, allow product brands to lead customers through the store and directly down the aisle to their products (like “Follow the yellow brick road” from The Wizard of Oz).

If your potential customer doesn’t know what your product looks like, seeing it on a sign along with the brand name will make the product easier to locate on the store shelf.

All of this can have a dramatic effect on purchases (up to a 20 percent increase, based on my research for this article).

How to Increase the Effectiveness of a POP Display

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Use bright colors in the design.
  2. Make everything large, especially the logo, brand colors, text, and name of the product.
  3. Include large photos showing the products in use by happy, excited people, and/or photos of the lifestyle associated with the products.
  4. Consider how the point-of-purchase display will be most effectively positioned. How do you want to move your potential customer around the store, and how will the POP display help make this happen? The location of the POP display in the store can make it either extremely effective or absolutely useless. Something as simple as placing the display at eye level might make all the difference.
  5. Place POP signage for one item next to something complementary. For example, if you’re selling supplies for a barbecue, you might want to produce a display that holds shish kebab skewers, charcoal briquettes, and such, and place the large-format print display next to the fresh beef customers will use for the barbecue.
  6. Experiment with different graphics, unusual POP display materials or shapes (such as a giant version of your product), and in-store positioning. Then track your results meticulously.

Custom Printing: Blow-Mold and Injection-Mold Labeling

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Photo purchased from … www.depositphotos.com

Few things sell products like custom labels. Think about the confusion you’d experience if you walked into a grocery store, went to the hair products, and all the bottles just said “shampoo,” or “conditioner.”

Or, worse. What if every package in the store was just labeled “food”?

Labels do a lot of different things, not the least of which is identify the contents of a package and display the “brand.” That is, beyond the shampoo, you’re really buying all the intangibles, the feelings and values, which the logo, ink coloration, and imagery of the brand imply and promise.

This is why it’s smart to understand custom label printing if you’re a designer, print buyer, or commercial printing supplier. Labels have immense power.

In-Mold Labeling

When you get a moment, do what I just did. I just went into the bathroom and checked out some of the plastic bottles. Some had labels stuck to them. Others seemed to have clear shrink-sleeves covering the bottles, with both transparent areas and printed areas. Still others seemed to have durable printed labels burned right into the plastic. I’d initially assume they were samples of custom screen printing, but these labels seemed to be even more durable and scratch resistant.

So, my assumption now is that the in-mold labeling I had read about earlier in the week (because I had never seen the term before) pertains to the final sample noted above. Mark my words. You’ll be surprised if you dig around in your bathroom, or even under your kitchen sink, just to observe how companies are labeling their products these days.

How In-Mold Labels Are Made

With my interest piqued, I did some research. In-mold labels are positioned in the mold (the structure that gives form to the molten plastic from which shampoo and other bottles are made) before the molten plastic is added.

(Think about a fine-art sculptural mold, which is built around a wax or clay original sculpture. Once the outer mold has dried, the inner sculpture is removed, leaving a hole or cavity–or negative image of the art–within the mold. First you pour molten bronze into the cavity in the mold. Then, once the bronze has cooled and solidified, you can remove the mold, and you’ve got the bronze statue.)

If you shift your mindset a bit, you can envision molten plastic being introduced into a mold for a bottle of shampoo. It’s the same concept (although the inside of the bottle obviously won’t be solid plastic).

There are two ways to do this: blow-mold and injection-mold manufacturing. Keep in mind that the custom printed label is already in position in the mold, so all you really need to do is add the molten plastic for the bottle, which then fuses with the pre-printed film label, eliminating the need for additional labeling, streamlining the manufacturing process, and even facilitating waste and recycling—all while improving label durability. Once the in-mold-labeled bottle is empty, you can even grind it up, melt it, and turn it into a new bottle.

Blow molding involves introducing a lump of molten plastic or polypropylene into the bottle mold and then blowing air into the plastic until it conforms to the interior surface of the mold (i.e., up against the in-mold labeling). If you think back to your high school history class, you may remember seeing pictures of people blowing glass in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Or, you may have seen the same thing done at the local Renaissance Faire.

This is essentially the same process, using plastic instead of glass and automating the process. Blow molding, which was the original intent for in-mold bottle labeling, is preferred for hollow bottles and other closed containers, especially those that are medium to large in size.

In contrast, injection molding is just what the name implies. Molten plastic is injected into the mold (without blowing air into the molten plastic). You might use this process for small bottles, or for open tubs that contain butter or ice cream.

Both of these options yield the following benefits. The in-mold labels are waterproof, scratch-proof, and resistant to chemicals. (Think about the aggravation that would ensue if all the labels in the damp bathroom started to come apart in your hands. In-mold labeling avoids this.)

Implications of Bottle Labeling

I did some research and found some more implications of bottling and bottle labeling. First of all, as a culture, we buy plastic bottles full of food, beauty products, and cleaning agents. When you include commercial products, you add a huge number of industrial items that also need containers and custom printed labels.

According to Wikipedia, packaging (which includes but goes beyond labeling) solves a lot of problems:

“Packaging contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells” (Wikipedia, Product Packaging).

More specifically:

  1. Packaging protects the contents of a bottle or other container from heat or cold, physical shock, and vibration.
  2. It keeps out moisture, dust, oxygen, and other contaminants. (This is called “barrier protection” in the packaging trade.) It is especially important for foods and pharmaceuticals. In some cases the packaging can even control the temperature of the contents and thus preserve its longevity and usefulness—i.e., keep it “clean, fresh, sterile, and safe” (Wikipedia, Product Packaging)–throughout the product’s intended shelf life.
  3. Packaging “contains.” That is, if you’re buying a bottle of laundry soap powder, it keeps the granules together and off the floor. Moreover, packaging can group together a number of similar items (like when you buy a box of fruit-and-nut power bars at the gym), and it can even group a number of cases of the same power bars on a wrapped pallet in a warehouse. In all of these cases, access to information (what’s on the skid) and branding (which company owns the skid) are paramount.
  4. Packaging displays vital information. If your product is aspirin, you will probably need a lot of room on the label for information regarding what to take, dosage amount and time, what the ingredients are, etc. Labels can include all of this as well as expiration dates, lot numbers, sourcing information, and government-required data for anything from food to medicine to chemicals.
  5. Packages (and their labels) can help to ensure safety. For instance, if tamper resistant devices have been added (either physical barriers or notations with security ink), you will know whether to discard medicine or food that may have become compromised. Security inks used for custom printing can also indicate that the items in a package are authentic and not counterfeit (a specific medication, for example).
  6. Portion control. Packaging helps you contain a specific amount of a product: something as simple as a packet of salt or sugar, for instance. Or, more critically, packaging can contain a precise, single dose of a medication.
  7. Marketing and branding. With all of the images that accost us on a daily basis, it has become essential for companies to set themselves (and their products) apart from all competitors. Labels, shrink-sleeves, flexible packaging, corrugated board, and folding cartons, to name a few, all sell not only the product but also the manufacturer. Using color and type, a manufacturer has to inspire your confidence that you’re buying the exact product you want and need. Plus, you have to trust that the contents are safe and timely: exactly as you expect them to be. For a bottle and custom label, that’s awe-inspiring power.

04 Know Top Benefits Of Flyer Printing Services You Were Not Aware of

Friday, July 9th, 2021

One of the many benefits that you may not know about flyer printing services is how they can help promote and advertise your business. Flyers are cheap to produce, meaning this might be an inexpensive way for a small-business owner just starting out their company to get started on marketing without going into debt.

Printing flyers is an effective way to promote your business. With the advent of print on demand technology, you can create personalised flyers at a fraction of what it used to cost. Flyers are a great way to combine creativity with marketing. Flyers can range from being informative and straight-forward, or they may be more on the creative side of things. Regardless of what type you opt for, one thing is certain: flyers will help your business make an impact in its community.

Benefits of hiring professional printing services for your business

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

Sure, you can print a few pages all by yourself, even edit them if needed, but can you assure of printing a thousand copies and editing them every day? Well, this is precisely why you need custom printing services online. Choosing a professional to do what they love to do is the best way to get everything done quickly without creating hurdles for anyone. Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons for you to change your mind.

1.  They provide you with high-quality work

Printing similar pages multiple times might finish all the ink in your office printer, but a professional will have it all sorted because they always print in bulk. They will never fail you in terms of quality. They will make sure that you get similar quality on every page. This quality work requires a regular change of ink, which can be a messy task for an office worker. Hiring a professional is what you can do best to avoid a situation like this.

2.  They have the resources to manage huge assignments as well.

Well, a professional printing service provider will always have all the types of equipment required for printing. If they work on a large scale, they will have huge machines to print banners and posters you see while travelling from a highway. They are also capable of taking work in bulk so, if you require 1000 pages of a document on everyone’s desk each day, custom printing online will provide you with the benefit of having those right in the morning.

3.  They are faster than you know

An agency will have a handful of workers working under each category, so if you think you are alone enough to print pages, print journals and other things just in time, then you are wrong. In addition, handing it over to a printing service will make your work a lot more clean and more manageable.

Even the machines used by the agency can take bulk work and deliver faster service while your office printer won’t be able to work 2 hours a day on a non-stop basis.

4.  They charge a moderate fee everyone can afford

Buying papers, ink and maintenance of the printer along with the one-time investment of buying a printer for you will be expensive than just handling the tender to an online service provider. But they will deliver your work in time, won’t take an off and make sure to deliver the same quality every day. They will also help you save money on a graphic designer. So, if you want to get customized designs on those sheets every day, they will help you achieve it in minimal time.

With all the reasons listed above, we hope you are pretty much convinced why you need to leave this work to a professional. Before you choose to opt for custom printing online, check the company’s reviews and take suggestions from people who might know about it. There is no point trusting someone blindly and being in trouble later, right?

Custom Printing: Effective Design for Both Web Layout and Commercial Printing Work

Monday, July 5th, 2021

A single publication design that “works”–aesthetically and functionally—both on the computer monitor and on paper (in a commercial printing product) is rare and wonderful. Sort of like a unicorn.

With this in mind, I received an online prospectus from my fiancee’s financial planner this week and was struck by the graphic artist’s awareness of design theory, content organization, and how the reader’s eye works. I wanted to share this with you as an object lesson. Much of what you need to know as a designer, you can learn by studying this Blackstone financial prospectus.

The Financial Prospectus

More specifically, this is a Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust prospectus (usually provided as a small format print book), the driest of material unless you’re a stock market geek. It is one long document, clearly intended to be read online as well as on paper. So given the differences in reading style for online and paper-based information, this document poses a challenge. Moreover, it is mostly a black and white design. What it does best is organize information into manageable chunks (like an informational graphic), while highlighting the most important elements. Because of this, the reader can skim the document, immediately grasp vital data, and then come back for a closer review at a later date.

How It Was Done

The first chunk of copy comprises the title and the date in a large, Modern-style, serif typeface. It has been determined that online text is easier to read in a sans serif face and print-based text is easier to read in a serif typeface. Interestingly enough, the designer has improved legibility by making the headline and date large enough to be an aesthetically appealing design element (as well as content/information). She or he also set the title in a bold face and the date (in just a slightly smaller type size) in a roman face. The contrast identifies the two separate levels of importance.

Moving onward, the next graphic element is a solid, black box containing reversed type. Reversed type is harder to read in a print book (or other printed product) than black type on white paper, and this rule of thumb is doubly true for online reading. To compensate (and facilitate online readability—by old and young alike), the designer has made the type slightly larger and bolder than needed. This significantly improves the legibility of the white type on the solid black background.

Moreover, the designer has greatly increased the size of the statistics (“Total Asset Value,” “Number of Properties,” and “Occupancy”) of the Real Estate Income Trust prospectus. This huge size difference highlights three statistics that by themselves will hook anyone potentially interested in this financial opportunity. The reader’s eye goes directly to the statistics because of the size difference (with numbers about four to six times the size of the text copy).

In addition, the lines and strokes of the Modern-style typeface are attractive. The text is not purely informational. It is a design element. But if you have only an instant, you will see the large numbers, digest the data, and then have enough information to either read further or move on.

To distinguish among various chunks of copy, the designer also uses contrasting type size, bold vs. roman and bold italic type, and a thick white rule line to separate content into chunks and to identify the relative importance of these bits of information.

So far there has been no use of color. In a world full of color printing and online color, this financial prospectus already stands out because of its uniqueness (like the black and white Volkswagen ads of the 1960s). Therefore, the multiple tints of light yellow green added to highlight the four classes of investment shares in the next section both jump off the virtual page and are at the same time elegant. The green looks sophisticated and understated on the solid black background.

Supplemental type in the solid black box is set in a smaller (but still readable) serif typeface. While a bit harder to read than the preceding bar chart in various shades of green, the reversed type is still legible. At this point, since the reader will already have absorbed the gist of the information, the clarifying material can be a little harder to read without annoying an interested reader.

The Next Section

The next section is entitled, “Diversified Portfolio Concentrated in Growth Markets.” For many people, reading anything like this document would be akin to reading the phone book or a dictionary. But again, Blackstone has used graphic principles to pique interest, create elegance, and facilitate reading.

So far, visual information has been displayed in an info-graphic format, with the most useful information dramatically enlarged for instant recognition while also reflecting an aesthetic value in itself. This next section approaches communication in the same way.

This section is laid out in three columns, with a photo, “Property Type,” and “Metrics” side by side. The photos are all black and white, with a little more contrast than usual, which makes them look artsy. The numbers are, again, extremely large. Their letterforms, in the bold, Modern-style typeface, are graceful as well as informative. The explanatory letters and glyphs (“k,” as in “10k,” and “M,” as in “141M Square Feet”) are typeset either in “small capitals” or, if lowercase, in a slightly smaller type size than the main text. This two-tiered effect adds to the sense of elegance.

In fact, the whole vibe of the prospectus, with its mostly black and white color scheme and graceful large numbers and rule lines is a bit Art Deco in style. In fact it reminds me of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work and the art of the 1920s. (The design seems to echo the tone of the Jazz Age.)

The Third and Following Sections

A “Performance Summary” chart follows, and it is organized with thin rule lines, a few much thicker rule lines, and tint screens, plus lots of white space. Everything is crisp and elegant, as before—in black and white. Finally, there are two pages of boilerplate financial information. It’s there if you want to read it, but because of the superb organization of all of the other material, you already know what’s most important. In fact, if you only read the huge type in the overall prospectus, you can still decide whether this financial product interests you.

Two pie charts accompany the text, and these are the final and only use of color along with the aforementioned light green bar chart. By being kept to an absolute minimum, the color absolutely screams for attention.

And now I will leave you with one final observation. Everything is flush left. Granted, this is easier to read than justified type, whether online or on paper. But beyond that, since as a culture we now have so much less time to read so much more information, we tend to skim. In fact, experts have determined that we quickly scan down the left margin of an online page and then only read toward the center of the page at the headlines. (This eye movement resembles the cross strokes or “bars” of an “E” or “F.”) We move across briefly and then jet down the page deciding what to read.

In Blackstone’s financial prospectus, the designer has used this awareness, along with an awareness of many other characteristics of reading style for online and printed text, to facilitate the reading experience. If you can get the reader to read, and if you can make this process easy and pleasurable, only then can you transmit the content that is the reason any printed or online product exists in the first place.

The Blackstone designer did just that.

What We Can Learn

    1. Readability is paramount. If you make reading hard, you’ll lose the reader. Enough said.

 

    1. Learn the differences between reading online text and reading text in commercial printing products. Study the mechanics of vision, and learn how the eyes change as the reader gets older.

 

    1. Group related information in your design work. Show the reader what’s most important, secondary, tertiary. Lead the reader’s eye through and down the online page or printed page.

 

    1. Consider the connotations of type styles, color schemes, and design grids as they relate to the purpose or theme of your document. A dramatic use of type size differences, in the preceding sample, both facilitates readability and gives the piece a feel of Wall Street during the Roaring Twenties.

 

  1. The best way to learn all of this and make it second nature is to copy good design. (Stravinsky, Faulkner, and Steve Jobs all voiced some version of “Good artists copy; great artists steal.”). Create a swipe file containing print work (or print outs of online work) you like. Be able to explain how the form and style choices support the theme, meaning, or content of each piece.
Archives

Recent Posts

Categories


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!


Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved