For printing projects your desktop printer can't handle, use commercial printing services. Commercial printers specialize in offset printing, also called four-color process printing, which is best for large projects, such as catalogs and brochures that require special paper, ink or bindery options. Before you hire commercial printers for your next commercial printing project, you'll need to consider a few questions.
1. What is your timeline for your commercial printing project?
2. What special features does your commercial printing project require? For example, do you need binding, special print processes or die cuts?
3. What is your budget? Small commercial printing jobs are often best printed digitally where plate charges and set-up fees don't come in to play.
Some commercial printing services specialize in short run projects
Just because you've decided to go big with a commercial printing project like a catalog or magazine that showcases your products, you don't have to print a million copies. Shop around for short run commercial printers who can make your big project on a smaller scale.
Use commercial printers for projects with a quick turnaround
Whether you need your business cards printed for a new employee or postcards for a mailing that needs to be in your customer's mailbox by the end of the week, quick commercial printing services are the solution to your dilemma. By offering online ordering, some quick turnaround commercial printers offer guarantees of having your job done and delivered as in 24 hours.
On-demand commercial printers come through in a pinch
When you need a project printed and don't require offset or lithographic processes, but your laser printer can't handle the quantity, on-demand commercial printers are your lifeline to getting the project done on time. They usually require you to upload documents through their website and pay in advance. Some on-demand commercial printers let you pick up your project on-site, while others offer overnight delivery.
Get customized commercial printing services that make your project stand out
When you are designing a brochure, catalog, flyer or direct mail marketing piece, sometimes going the quick route with basic four-color commercial printing just isn't enough. Die-cut pieces, letterpress, spot varnishes and blind embossing transform a so-so marketing piece into a spectacular attention-getting piece.
- Ask the vendor what commercial printing methods they use. Some use desktop printing that is digital while others use offset multi-color presses.
- Some commercial printers offer mailing services on their deliverables. Taking advantage of their mailing services allows you to outsource the work while focusing on other projects.
- Offset printing uses a multicolor press. Specialized offset commercial printing services include hexachrome and lenticular printing. Hexachrome is Pantone's six-color printing process that allows true Pantone color matching. Lenticular printing is when an image is altered by viewing it at different angles.
- When getting commercial printing quotes, ask for set-up charges, plate fees, proofing charges and other fees that may not be included in the bid.
- Some commercial printers charge for overages and most have a 5-10 percent overage or underage clause that allows them to short the project or print more than you need and charge you for the amount of pieces they deliver. Make sure you understand their overage policies before you place a printing order.