Businesses have many different commercial printing needs, but these same companies also have financial responsibilities and constraints to deal with. The commercial printing industry is one of the largest in the United States, and it can make over $100 billion dollars each year. That revenue comes from the business that 35,000 different commercial printing companies conduct. With that many companies vying for your companies commercial print business you can have your pick of vendors. However, with all of that competition you want to be sure that you make an educated decision when it comes to your companies printing needs.
Originally it was the discovery of the printing press that was discovered an amazing technological advance. From that point on the need for commercial printing evolved, and today it is commonplace for companies to utilizes commercial print products as a resource for advertising, training materials, and general employee supplies. However there is a lot that goes into commercial printing.
Commercial printing is technically defined as “the process of taking art work and transferring that work onto an alternative surface in bulk.” It is designed to complete high volume orders with a short period of time. While there have been advances in the technology of commercial printing the actual procedure remains much the same as it has been since its creation. Basically, the desired image is place onto an aluminum plate. The offset printing process is then used to apply the color to the image. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are four colors that are used to create the overall image. In the printing industry you may hear this referred to as CMYK. Once the image has been placed on the plate that plate will go through a process that applies those colors onto the desired surface. Basically, ink is poured into the image on the plate and then that is transferred to a rubber roller known as the blanket cylinder. That is then used to roll the image onto the desired surface. In general if you are thinking of having brochures or flyers printed up you would expect the commercial printing press to print at a rate of 10,000 sheets of paper per hour. Each color is individually placed onto the paper. To create the overall image the paper is moved through four different presses to get hit with each color. That is technically what makes up the offset printing process.
Thanks to technological advances in the printing industry print services have gotten increasingly more affordable for businesses. Additionally you can have just about anything printed up. For example, you can have printing done on paper, fabric, metal, and glass. Of course the large the quantity that you are ordering the more affordable the individual units will be. For example, if you only order 25 units of a brochure it may be more expensive per unit than if you had ordered 50 or even 100 brochures.
Knowing what commercial printing is is one thing, but now you face the task of choosing a good commercial print vendor for your company. Generally print companies utilize different types of presses to process their jobs. It is specifically the difference in presses that should help make your decision. There are really two different types of printing presses that are used in commercial printing: Sheet fed and web presses. That being said you may also run across printers that choose digital presses. While digital presses are not as commonly used as sheet fed and web presses they are also quite common in the industry.
Basically, sheet fed commercial printing presses are some of the most versatile devices. These create top quality images, and they can be used to create a variety of different products like books, posters, and magazines to name a few. Despite the fact that these create beautiful images they do take a bit of time so you will want to take that into account as part of your selection process.
Web printing presses are are significantly faster than sheet fed presses. Be aware that these may not create the refined images that you can get with other printers, but they are ideal for commercial print jobs that require speed. For example, web printing presses are what newspapers use to print their product.
When you are trying to select a commercial printing option you will want to think specifically about your print jobs details. Give some thought to the quantity that you are looking at having printed. Additionally, think about what your printing timeline is. Be sure that your prospective vendor is able to accomplish your timing requirements. Before making a selection you will also want to give some thought to what size printing press the vendor has available. The companies that have larger printing presses available will be able to process larger jobs in a paster period of time. Be sure that you ask a lot of questions prior to booking your job to be sure that you have the right printing press for your particular job. Additionally, you are going to want to do a bit of cost comparison between vendors. Be aware that often you get what you pay for so the most inexpensive may not be the best option. Instead, pay attention to professional reputations, technical capabilities, projected timelines, and more than anything ensure that you have a written quote that includes a scheduled timeline to ensure that you get your order processed on your timeline.