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Online vs Traditional Printing: Changes in the Print Industry

Offset Printing Press

Technology is constantly changing the way we operate, personally and professionally. That’s the world we live in. The printing industry has been along for the ride and continues experience changes that impact the way we print.

Digital printing is actually a decades-old process that was mostly used for companies sending statements and bills to customers through the mail. But, the process did not allow for color print and the results were poor. In addition, there were barriers to printing digitally in regard to costs and quantities. Over the last couple decades, however, there have been major improvements in our abilities to use digital printing.

This growth has created important differences between online and traditional print. Most people, including you, can benefit from these changes, but do you know how?

With recent changes, there are more options to choose from, including digital printing, “direct to plate” printing, variable imaging and even online print ordering. To take advantage of the opportunities that new technologies have created, it’s important to take note of the ways the industry is changing and how online printing compares to printing the traditional way.

How Digital Printers Are Changing the Online Printing Industry

Post cardsOne of the newest and most exciting changes to the traditional printing industry is the advancements in digital printing. This print process, which has been increasing in popularity, excels at low volume projects that require quick turnaround. Since this type of processing has become more accessible, it has proven very popular and it can be used for applications that were previously not possible.

Digital printing has helped with the recent need for short run, four-color work which can be as few as two or three copies or several thousand. Customers can also order as few as 10 or 15 galley books to send to publishers or buyers. If your company is just getting started, it may not be cost-effective to produce large quantities of print marketing materials. If budgets are tight, and you’re still investigating the best advertising strategies in various markets, it’s often a better idea to order smaller runs of printing.

Get Customized Products with Digital Printing

With traditional print methods, it’s nearly impossible to add customized elements into your products, especially with higher quantities. If you want variations, even just slight differences like a word or two, it requires more work and multiple runs to accomplish that. Digital printing offers a solution for that. One of the most appreciated advantages of digital printing is the ability to produce variations within single runs. The ability to create this customization offers lower prices for those who need products with unique elements and it provides everyone with the ability deliver customized products–a feature that is growing increasingly important and is proven to be effective.

Custom Quotes for Special Orders

You'll save way more money if you print with an online printer.Even if your order doesn't fall within the scope of the products listed on an online printers website, they will often be more than happy to put together a custom quote giving you the estimate for how much they'd charge you for that project. While one might expect for online printers to lack the capabilities required for their projects they had previously been printing with a specialized local printer, most online printers are still just as capable of meeting your customized project needs as your existing local printer.

For that reason, we think it's entirely necessary to call your online printer and speak with them about capabilities beforehand to make sure their capabilities match the print needs your business will be having over the next few years.

Online Print – Taking Advantage of Direct to Plate Technology

Direct to plate printing is imaging technology that has recently come into usage. Images that are created in a Desktop Publishing application can be directly transferred to a printing plate. Direct to plate printing removes one generation of film transfer which results in a much sharper and more detailed image. For shorter runs, this method is more accurate, more consistent, cheaper, and much faster than older conventional platemaking.

Due to the surge in Internet usage and electronic marketing, there’s been a need to merge traditional print marketing with online advertising. This means that there has been a need to begin using such methods as printing QR codes, including URLs and references to social media accounts. Nowadays, the truly savvy business owners know how to merge traditional and digital advertising, and this is evident by the fact that you Tracking direct marketing is difficult, but with Conquest Graphics, we make it easycan scan printed barcodes with a cell phone and watch video demonstrations right in the store!

Another change in the print industry has been the response to environmental concerns. Printing companies are now using alcohol-free solutions, water-based inks, and recycled paper to satisfy customer concerns about waste. In the past, being “green” was not much of a concern because the “Don’t Tread on Me” movement had not yet happened. Customers like buying from green printing companies that make efforts to care for the environment.

A More Dependable Digital Proofing Process

Since digital printing has been around, the process of reviewing physical proofs and sending them back with revisions has remained in place. And, it has stayed that way for good reason. The fact is, even as online printing has gained more acceptance, the ability to accurately gauge proofs online has lagged behind. Lines may not be clear, colors may be off, etc. And those were the issues for folks with advanced computers. Besides, there’s nothing quite as reassuring as actually having the product in your hand and in front of your face.

However, that is also slowly changing. Although computers still provide a slightly altered version (mostly in regards to color) of what your products will look like, today’s computer programs and screens are able to provide astonishing proofs. More and more people are choosing to trust digital proofing to help speed up the printing process. Surely, this trend will only increase as technology continues to improve.

Using Online Printing Services To Grow Your Business

Regardless of your printing needs, technology has likely made your goals easier, quicker, and cheaper! But, having more options can be confusing and with the prevalence of online printing, it’s difficult to weigh all of your options fairly. Make sure you know what factors are really important when choosing your printer–whether it’s the type of printing process, quality of the paper or the best pricing.

Contact Conquest Graphics at 800-707-9903 or use the links below to get started printing with Conquest Graphics today:

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