All mailing campaigns begin with printing. The following are three helpful hints to make the printing portion of your mailing easier and save you money.
Planning Ahead – This is so basic that you would think that it’s hardly worth mentioning, but the fact is nothing could be farther from the truth. Allowing enough time for both the design and the printing can be a major factor in lowering your print costs. Many times, the delivery date of a printed item is set in stone because the printed material is time sensitive. When this is the case, allowing ample time for the design and print schedules will save you both stress and money. Specialized processes such as letter press scores, die cutting or UV coatings add additional time to the schedule and need to be allotted for. If you are not sure how much time is needed, let your FNBR representative guide you through the scheduling.
Size Matters – Size impacts both the amount of paper used and your postage rates. During the concept stage of your design, take a minute to speak with your FNBR representative. Many times a slight adjustment in the size of your mailer can save money. From a printing stand point, a small change in the size of the card may allow more cards to be printed per sheet lowering your print costs. When it comes to postal regulations, sometimes a minor change in either the height or the width can change a flat size mailer into a letter size mailer and greatly reduce postage rates.
Electronic Proofs – PDF’s are cheap, easily produced, and ideal for proofing text. Let’s say multiple departments need to approve an item before it goes to print. You can send everyone that needs to approve your mailer a PDF proof prior to sending the art files to the printer. This way, all necessary text changes can be made before a more expensive hi-resolution hard copy proof is produced just prior to printing. Producing multiple hi-resolution hard copy proofs for text changes only is an avoidable expense.
Every print job starts as an idea and ends as a tangible printed item. At FNBR, our job is to smoothly guide you through that journey and save you money. You don’t have to be a print expert… but it certainly helps that you know one!
About FNBR Incorporated
FNBR is a marketing company located in Tampa, Florida. We provide printing, direct mail, mailing lists, database management, graphic design, web design, and email marketing services to companies throughout the U.S.
FNBR can be reached at email@example.com or toll free 1-888-988-8148.
The starting point of any printing job is designing the items that are to be printed. As design software has become more user friendly, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of material that is being designed by the end client themselves. Many of our clients have very talented employees that are producing impressive designs.
The first step in the printing process is to make sure that the art files are ready to go on press. Many times when discussing these files with the client, printing terms come up that the client may not be familiar with. The following are some of the more common terms and what they mean:
- Crops – Crop marks are small lines at the edge of a design that indicate exactly where the printed item needs to be trimmed. Crop marks are cut off in the trimming process and are not seen on the final print.
- Bleeds – When a photo or a design extends beyond the trim lines. Typically the image should extend at least 1/8” (0.125″) beyond where you want it trimmed.
- CMYK – The four basic colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) used to produce four color printing. When designing files for four color printing, all of the art should be saved as four color and not as individual PMS colors.
- Aqueous / Varnish – These are coatings that are applied over the inks to protect or highlight the printing. When printing on matte or dull gloss finish stock, you can use spot varnish on the photos to make the images jump off the page.
- Cross-Over – Art on one page of a book that carries over to the adjoining page.
- Back-up – Printing on the second side, or back of the sheet. The term is also used to describe adjusting an image on one side so that it aligns perfectly back to back with the image on the other side.
- Creep – Creep is when the middle pages of a bound or stapled booklet start pushing out. Size adjustments must be made to eliminate this problem.
- DPI – Dots per Inch – the higher the DPI the cleaner the image will be. Printing should be done at a minimum of 300 DPI.
- Grayscale – Printing only in shades of black.
Hopefully you will find the above snapshot of printing terms useful.
When discussing printing with your FNBR representative, if we use a printing term you are unfamiliar with, just let us know – we’ll be more than happy to go over it with you! Or if you need help with your design work our staff won’t rest until it is just what you imagined (or better!).
The printing industry has come a long way since Benjamin Franklin was cranking out copies of his “Pennsylvania Gazette” by hand. Back then, your ink color choices were black, black or black to be printed on a shade of white paper. Today, your choices while not limitless are quite extensive.
Often businesses call ready to start a printing project. The two questions we start with is how many ink colors do you want to print and what type of paper. With regards to the ink colors, most of the clients envision using four color printing since most advertising is done in multiple colors. However, besides using color to make a printed piece more attractive, colors can be used to convey psychological messages and drive sales (see “Communicating with Colors” from Feb. 2011).
When it comes to paper, there are many different choices.
Paper thickness ranges from thin text weight stock up to triple thick cover weight. There are numerous paper finishes to choose from that create a plethora of tactile sensations. The most commonly used finishes are offset, matte, dull, silk and glossy. In addition to being able to choose many different thicknesses and finishes, paper comes in a wide variety of colors. In fact, studies have shown that color has been proven to increase readership, enhance retention and improve comprehension.
Careful consideration should always be given when deciding what paper to use for your printing. Choosing the right paper can dramatically enhance the look-and-feel of your printed piece.
Let’s say that you’re inviting people to attend a formal fund raiser. By using a linen stock or perhaps a stock with a pearl finish, you will not only make your invitation stand out, but it will make the recipient feel special by receiving such a quality invitation. You can further add to the elegance of the invitation by printing on a translucent sheet of paper and incorporating it into the invitation design.
Besides the paper, other techniques can be used to enhance your printing. Foil can be used to add an elegant look, or the printed piece can be embossed to add the sensation of touch to the visual appeal of the mailer. Aqueous and UV coatings can be used to protect the printing or they can be used to make specific areas of the printing jump out.
Shapes can also be used to identify your printing. By using custom dies, printed material can be cut to any shape you desire. Imagine sending out a postcard for a shoe store in the shape of a shoe, or a jewelry store mailer in the shape of a diamond.
Investing the time to design and print a piece that uniquely represents your product or service can greatly increase your desired results. Your FNBR representative will gladly take the time to help guide you through all of your printing options. Call FNBR toll free at 888-988-8148 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.