Printing Tips

  1. Utilize the latest in varnish and coatings that are available to add special effects. Strike through dull varnish with overall gloss coating creates the effect of offline spot dull and gloss varnish without the additional cost of extra passes on press. It also eliminates the need to “dust” the sheets after printing to reduce the feel of spray powder build up. “Soft Touch” coating can also be done in-line to create the velvet feel of a more expensive paper.
  2. When printing on uncoated papers, replace standard 4cp inks with special “kaleidoscope” 4cp to brighten up colors and extend the color gamut range of traditional 4cp inks and minimize the flattening of colors when ink soaks into the paper.
  3. Be flexible when it comes to size. Purchasing agents are often given the task of meeting client’s budgets while maintaining the integrity of a designer’s specifications. Often time tests are designed for the short run sheet-fed market. Postcards are a classic example: 6”x9” is a great fit for a 20” x 26” or 28” x 40” sheet sizes with plenty of room for bleeds and color bars. However, when the rollout comes and the quantity is large enough for the web market, the size is a bad fit.
  4. In years past the standard for commodity grade offset was 88 bright while opaque papers were typically 92 bright. Today, commodity grade offsets are 92 bright while opaque papers are typically 96 bright. Selecting a commodity grade offset over an opaque for a light to medium coverage project can save as much as 15% on the cost to print. Naturally, some projects with heavy ink coverage will still require opaque for its ability to conceal show-through.
  5. However, working with designers early on may help to avoid the need for opaque paper by limiting ink saturation on both the front and back of your project.
  6. Try testing 3 different creatives by running them as an A/B/C split, one running over the other. When inserted, every other piece will be different. This is a good way to find out what graphics or offers will pull a better ROI. Three into the cutoff, three different graphics delivered and mixed every impression.
  7. For quality issues with folding and cracking of self mailers always try to plan jobs using “grain correct” layouts. At times this is not possible with stock sheets so we will have stock converted to a short grain size to accommodate. A good question the marketing executive/print buyer can ask their printer is if the job is “grain correct”.
  8. Many of today’s jobs are run on silks/velvets/dulls where printability is awesome and it’s being used more and more but the downfall is it’s susceptible to easily marking in handling/bindery/mailing. The solution is to add driers to inks/seal with coating/varnish.
  9. Generally speaking, most continuous form half web paper comes in stocking sizes of 18” and 23” wide. If the project demands a quick turn time, estimating will use a standard size stock. As a result, an end user will get more value if the form is designed keeping these sizes in mind.
  10. If a continuous form has large areas of solid print or heavy copy, running it on a UV press will minimize any potential offsetting issues.
  11. Add smell and touch to the visual impact of your printed pieces through the use of specialty coatings. How would you like to have an image of a cherry smell like a cherry, an image of cement feel like cement, a sandy beach feel like sand or a piece of fabric feel silky smooth. These are just some of the available coating options that can be applied overall or by utilizing a Cyrel plate for spot applications.
  12. When producing a large quantity on 100# gloss cover, consider changing to 9 pt gloss cover because 9pt can be produced on a web press, but most 100# gloss cover cannot.
  13. Avoid final sizes that are a perfect square because they are usually a bad fit on press. You will waste paper.
  14. To get the best overall print price find out from your printer the grade and type of papers they stock. This will also allow for more schedule flexibility.
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