Digital Printing Tips for Small Businesses

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Digital printing is a way of printing from an electronic-based digital image directly onto a range of non-porous media. It covers all aspects of print media production from print on paper, fabrics and other durable media to digital images, including photographs, illustrations and film output. It basically refers to large-scale professional digital printing where individual, custom projects from personal desktop publishing and other digital resources are printed with high-quality and/ or high-speed laser and inkjet printers. Digital printing is used for mass print as well as promotional print to make products stand out and to deliver a message to targeted audiences.

The main advantages associated with such printing processes are the speed with which the print job can be completed, the high quality print and the ability to use a wider range of materials compared to conventional printing. Digital printing also enables quick turnaround time and reduced logistics costs. But, what are the common mistakes that most small/home businesses make when it comes to digital printing? Let’s take a look at some of the top mistakes in this area…

This isn’t true – Most people think that offset printing uses mechanically driven machines that automatically load the plates into the drum and apply the colors, toner and adhesive on the roll. However, this is not the case. Most commercial printers work by using an in-house system that is able to load the plates and apply the coating without human intervention. In most cases, the process involves a combination of mechanical steps, such as toner loading, alignment, transfer and coating with machines that can go from one print roll to the next digitally. It’s only when you start adding in non-stop delivery, fast turnaround time and high quality products that you get into the area of using digital printing for mass production.

Printing smaller elements – Most commercial printers that offer digital printing services are really designed for printing larger elements. When using the printer for smaller print jobs, such as business cards or custom cards, a number of mistakes can be made. The problem is that you generally won’t be looking at a very high resolution raster image. You will typically be looking at a pixels-per-inch image, which means that if your card is six inches by six inches, it might print out fine, but if you were to print out a business card of forty by forty inches, it would be tough to read and too small to be of any use for most customers. Even though the cost might be a bit higher, the benefit of a smaller print job far outweighs the cost of using a printer that can’t print out to a proper size.

Using a machine that is too powerful – Many people don’t realize that there are printers that are designed specifically to do a variety of different tasks, such as fax, scan, and even hot spots. Often, you will be able to find these printers in conjunction with traditional offset and digital printing. The advantage to these types of printers is that they are often more powerful than even some home printers, which can save you a lot of money, but they also tend to be quite expensive. This is not to say that you shouldn’t use a small desktop printer for things like business cards and marketing collateral. However, if you are going to be printing high quality, professional looking materials, offset and digital printing should definitely be your primary method of reproduction. You will find that you get much more satisfaction from your output and that you pay less for your business materials as well.

Getting more bang for your buck – As you can probably tell from this article’s title, there are many different ways to go about using digital printing. Some people like to use offset printing, which is cheaper but doesn’t deliver the same end results as digital printing. Other people like to use digital printing, because they can produce marketing materials for much lower prices than even offset printing. There are advantages to both methods, but it comes down to your own personal preferences and budget. Just make sure that whatever method you choose, you know what you’re getting.

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