The commercial printing industry includes many small and innovative companies looking for different ways on engage their customers beyond the skills they have. The first way commercial printing companies are by implementing new technologies into their current printing regimen. For custom printing, newer printers can unload 500 ft. per minute, or up to 2,180 pages per minute in a tandem engine configuration. Another important feature is that the ink used for printers that print that kind of pace are waterless. Water gives an opportunity for smearing and smudges. This is especially useful for custom folders, custom brochures, and catalog printing. For marketing purposes, custom folders should be designed with a clean design and interface. A smudge or smearing when custom printing die cut folders can lead to a waste of money, materials, or a can be poor presentation of marketing materials. For offset printing and large format printing the technique and programming used should maintain consistency with is important especially for the variety of printing.
One innovative technique for wide format printing is the idea of “Web-to-print” technology. The previous two technologies used including “plate-to-print” and “computer-to-print” technologies. Web-to-print would include are large variety of common online tools that would send your digital work directly the printing palette. There are many variables to consider prior to implementing this technology to the commercial printing industry. For example, how will a custom printing manager be able to edit and control the formatting of the document? Also, is printing from the web going to alter the dimensions of the printing object? For wide format printing and large format printing, web enabled devices such as mobile phones and tablets can pose a challenge with preview and justification of the dimensions and quality of a wide format printing or large format printing collateral. Smaller items such as custom folders and catalog printing may easily viewed on smaller screen such as tablets.
Another challenge with the concept of web-to-print technology is for customers who prefer to contact a salesperson and take advantage of an option. Although, online gives and opportunity for speed and convenience the room for error is still quite large. A commercial printing company would require multiple designers to adjust the mistakes that a customer has made – formatting, dimensions, graphical errors, or color adjustments. To ensure that it meets the customer’s satisfaction, the conversation between commercial printing company and customer must occur.
From the perspective of workflow and digital technology, web-to-print is an inevitable move in the printing industry in order for commercial printing businesses to remain relevant. With new web technologies including, automated pdf workflows, QR codes, integrated MIS systems, and variable-data printing, web-to-print will change the landscape of the custom printing.
Martin Karnick has been associated with a commercial printing and he is the right position to tell a lot of thing on custom brochures, brochure printing, custom printed folders, wide format printing and custom printing.