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How to Shop for Printing Services

With so many printing services to choose from, finding the right printer to handle your project can seem like a daunting task. Understanding the products available and your own needs can make you a more knowledgeable shopper when the time comes to order printing for your business.

Know where the printing gets done

Does your printing service do its printing in house or are they using a third party printer themselves? This can be vitally important when issues arise, and with more middlemen in the equation problems are easy to come by.

A well outfitted commercial printer will have heat-set web printing capabilities and or six color sheet-feed printing. Heat-set web printing is ideal for larger print runs. Paper is fed through the printer on rolls and the ink is heat dried during the process. This makes large prints runs faster, and uses the high gloss paper that delivers crisp intense images. Sheet-fed printing is slower, paper is cut into sheets beforehand and the ink must be allowed to dry, but for smaller print runs it works very well. It allows for the use of high gloss papers but with set up requirements more reasonable for smaller print runs.

What kind of printing you need

The style of printing your job requires depends largely on how many copies or imprints you are ordering. Large print runs need the speed of web press and the ink drying feature of heat-set printing. Because the ink is dried during the printing process, it allows the printer to use glossy papers and capture crisp sharp images without sacrificing for drying time.

The drawback of web-offset printing like heat-set is more intensive set up that may add to the cost of smaller print runs. In this case, sheet feed printing is a good option (shop printing services). In sheet feed printing, paper trimmed into sheets is fed through the printer. This method takes less set up which helps keep costs lower, and allows for high gloss papers and crisp images but drying may add to the processing time. Overall, the savings is worth it on a smaller print run.

Finish it Right

Trim and binding are the next essential piece of the puzzle. When this is done in-house, and with the oversight of professionals that know your needs, you can expect better quality control. Look for ownership of the project from start to finish under the same roof. Magazine style perfect binding and UV coatings add special touches to your project.

Mailings and Fulfillment

Once your project is complete, you need to get it in the right hands. A full service commercial printer can offer a range of fulfillment options for direct mailing lists and drop shipping. The professionals on your team at the commercial printers can advise you on delivery options and costs.

Finding the right printer for your next project doesn’t have to be confusing. Understanding what you need will go a long way to making the right choice for your business.

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