- Work with your print company. Be sure to work side by side with your print company, from the very beginning as you define the project and during the design process. This could save you time and money even before you produce your project. Explain your purpose and concept, including your expectations and goals. Ask your printer to identify ways of cutting costs
- Choose the process where you get the result you want at the value you need.
From do-it-yourself desktop copying to professional offset printing, the price reflects the process the price. Which process do you really need? Work with your printer to develop a design that fits the process.
Plate Printing vs. Offset Printing vs. Digital Printing
Plate printing uses computer-to-plate technology. It is a convenient printing preparation process where the digital image is transmitted directly from a computer to a plate used on a press. It eliminates the need for producing film (or negatives), stripping and shooting plates. Computer-to-plate technology gets your project printed quickly and saves you money. It reduces costs, increases productivity, and offers excellent consistency and high quality.
Offset printing is a very common and suitable for high volumes. The image to be printed is burned onto a plate and then transferred (offset) from the plate to a rubber blanket, before transferring to the printing surface. Image quality in offset printing is high and the process is cost-efficient at high volumes. If you choose offset printing, remember that it requires separate set-ups for each ink color. This increases the cost.
Digital printing is less mechanical, and takes less preparation time. Therefore, the turn-around times are faster and printing at low volumes is a good value.
Which process you choose depends on your project and the printer.
- One color vs. multicolor Are you sure that you want to use color printing? If you choose offset printing, remember that it requires separate set-ups for each ink color. This increases the cost. Lower-cost digital printing might serve the same purpose for you. Consider the effect of using black and white with grey tones—less expensive and possibly more effective.
- Paper or not to paper Would your message have a greater reach sent as an email instead of created in print. But if you are printing materials, reduce the weight (and cost) of the paper by choosing an inexpensive paper stock or recycled paper to save money and be environmentally “green.” You can also print on both sides of the page for greater economy.
- Copies–More or less? Although it would seem obvious that the fewer copies you order, the lower the price, this is not always the case. Speak with your print provider to investigate the advantage of going high volume in anticipating future needs and preventing reset charges. However, if the piece contains information that is likely to change, ordering a smaller number makes sense.