Choosing the Right (or left) Printer

Choosing the Right (or left) Printer

Choosing the right printer

When choosing the right print shop for your job, be sure you are comparing apples to apples. When making your comparisons for a print job, be sure that each quote is listing the same elements. The main discrepancies are paper stock, coating, and type of printing. These cause the most anguish. It’s often very easy to choose the cheaper price for a set of business cards, because, “it’s just a set of business cards”. Ending up with a business card that was cheaper, but you are embarrassed to hand out is worthless.

The thickness of the card stock should be your first concern. Too thin a card just feels cheap, and that is not the message most of us want to convey. Secondly, choose the right coating. Depending on the style of the card, you’ll want gloss or matte or uncoated. Gloss will make those colors pop, and provide shine that can highlight it’s design. Matte is for those that want a coating for protection, but whose style isn’t about flash. Uncoated is for those who love the feel of the paper and ease of writing on it’s surface. Considering the part about being able to write on a coating, gloss won’t allow it, but matte will with ball points.

Finally to get the best, you are going to want offset printing instead of digital printing for the best quality. Offset provides truer colors and much deeper discounts as the quantity goes up. However if time is of the essence, then digital is the way to go. It’s not the best, but you’ll certainly have it in hand sooner.  Give us a call!

The Invention of Paper

The Invention of Paper

JIAXIAN COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 30: (CHINA OUT) Wei Shoufu, a Chinese craftsman, removes a bamboo from a pile of unfinished paper in his paper mill at Yukou Village on March 30, 2006 in Jiaxian County of Shaanxi Province, China. The traditional techniques for handmade papermaking have a history of about 300 years in this area. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
JIAXIAN COUNTY, CHINA – MARCH 30: (CHINA OUT) Wei Shoufu, a Chinese craftsman, removes a bamboo from a pile of unfinished paper in his paper mill at Yukou Village on March 30, 2006 in Jiaxian County of Shaanxi Province, China. The traditional techniques for handmade paper making have a history of about 300 years in this area. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

Paper making is one of the inventions by Chinese. 105 A.D. is often cited as the year in which paper making was invented. In that year, historical records show that the invention of paper was reported to the Eastern Han Emperor Ho-di by Ts’ai Lun, an official of the Imperial Court. Recent archaeological investigations, however, place the actual invention of paper making some 200 years earlier.

Ts’ai Lun broke the bark of a mulberry tree into fibers and pounded them into a sheet. Later it was discovered that the quality of paper could be much improved with the addition of rags hemp and old fish nets to the pulp.  The paper was soon widely used in China and spread to the rest of world through the Silk Road. An official history written some centuries later explained: In ancient times writing was generally on bamboo or on pieces of silk, which were then called ji. But silk being expensive and bamboo heavy, these two materials were not convenient. Then Tsai Lun thought of using tree bark,n hemp, rags, and fish nets. In 105 he made a report to the emperor on the process of paper making, and received high praise for his ability.

From this time paper has been in use everywhere and is called the “paper of Marquis Tsai.”In few years, the Chinese began to use paper for writing. Around 600 A.D. woodblock printing was invented and by 740 A.D., The first printed newspaper was seen in China.

To the east, paper making moved to Korea, where production of paper began as early as the 6th century AD. Pulp was prepared from the fibers of hemp, rattan, mulberry, bamboo, rice straw, and seaweed. According to tradition, a Korean monk named Don-cho brought papermaking to Japan by sharing his knowledge at the Imperial Palace in approximately AD 610, sixty years after Buddhism was introduced in Japan.Along the Silk Road, we learned that paper was introduced to Xinjiang area very early according to the archaeological records. The paper found at Kaochang, Loulan, Kusha, Kotan, and Dunhuang sites dated as early as the 2nd. century.

The technique eventually reached Tibet around 650 A.D. and then to India after 645 A.D. By the time Hsuan Tsang from China arrived to India in 671 A.D., paper was already widely used there.For a long time the Chinese closely guarded the secret of paper manufacture and tried to eliminate other Oriental centers of production to ensure a monopoly. However in 751 A.D. the T’ang army was defeated by the Ottoman Turks at a mighty battle at the Talas River. Some Chinese soldiers and paper makers were captured and brought to Samarkand. The Arabs learned the paper making from the Chinese prisoners and built the first paper industry in Baghdad in 793 A.D.

They, too, kept it a secret, and Europeans did not learn how to make paper until several centuries later. The Egyptians learned the paper making from the Arabs during the early 10th century. Around 1100 A.D. paper arrived in Northern Africa and by 1150 A.D. it arrived to Spain as a result of the crusades and established the first paper industry in Europe. In 1453 A.D. Johann Gutenberg invents the printing press. The first paper industry in the North America was built in Philadelphia in 1690.

Digital Printing vs Offset Printing Explained

Digital Printing vs Offset Printing Explained

What’s the REAL difference, and does it matter?So, what’s the distinction between digital and offset printing? Printing is printing, right? Not exactly… Let’s take a look at these two printing methods, their differences, and where it makes sense to choose one or the other for your next print project.

Offset PrintingOffset printing technology uses plates, usually made from aluminum, which are used to transfer an image onto a rubber “blanket”, and then rolling that image onto a sheet of paper. It’s called offset because the ink is not transferred directly onto the paper. Offset printing is the best choice when larger quantities are needed, and provides accurate color reproduction, and crisp, clean professional looking printing.

Digital Printing Digital printing doesn’t use plates the way offset does, but instead uses options such as toner (like in laser printers) or larger printers that do use liquid ink. Digital printing shines when lower quantities are needed; think of a run of 20 greeting cards or 100 flyers. Another benefit of digital printing is it’s variable data capability. When each piece needs a unique code, name or address, digital is the only way to go. Offset printing cannot accommodate this need. Learn more about digital printing options and capabilities. While offset printing is a fantastic way to produce great-looking print projects, many businesses or individuals do not need large runs of 500 or more, and the best solution is digital printing.

Some Advantages of Digital Printing:

  • Setup costs are lower for short runs
  • Print only the amount you need, when you need it
  • Lower minimum quantities (as low as 1, 20 or 50 pieces)
  • Inexpensive black and white digital printing.
  • Variable data capability (names, addresses, codes or numbering can be done easily)
  • Improved technology has made digital quality acceptable for more uses

Some Advantages of Offset Printing:

  • Large quantities can be printed cost effectively
  • The more you print, the cheaper the price per piece
  • A large variety of paper types with custom finishes can be used
  • Special custom inks such as metallic and Pantone colors are available
  • Highest possible printing quality, with greater detail and color fidelity

Is Digital Printing the right fit for my next print project?

Offset and digital are both useful printing methods. Each have particular benefits depending on your project’s requirements. When you need larger runs of a project, into the hundreds or thousands, or are using a specific, brand-centric Pantone color, offset printing is the only way to go. You can also use a much wider variety of custom papers and specialty inks, such as metallic or fluorescent inks in the offset process. If a small run of less than 100 or the need for individual addresses or information is required, digital is your solution. The best part is that as a business, your needs can be met with either of these choices, and the high-level of quality means you get a printed product that will make you look great!

50 Shades of Grey

50 Shades of Grey / Your Guide to Choosing the Right Color

So how many shades of grey are there? Depending on the expert consulted, the human eye can distinguish more than 500 shades of grey. On a computer screen however, that number is 256. In printing using the CMYK method, that number is 99. To get an idea of the amount of different shades of colors, refer to this PMS chart located is located HERE. Keep in mind this is only the tip of the iceberg with 952 colors represented.

So when setting up your colors for print work, it is no different than choosing a paint color. What taupe means to one, is not what it means to another. When asking for turquoise, be ready for the inevitable question….”Is that a green or blue turquoise?”

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