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Tools Your Print Provider Should Be Using
The printing industry has radically changed over the years. In order to continue to produce high quality projects there are certain tools that are invaluable to a printer. Here at Hackworth, we utilize these tools to help businesses with professional level print work. Here are five tools of the printing industry that provide the best possible results for clients.
The digital printer is a fast and productive tool that also prints great quality. It is the most common type of printer in the printing industry. Unlike traditional printers, the digital printer does not have plates that you need to swap out, and it can function much more independently and precisely at the same time. It has also proliferated capabilities such as print-on-demand, short turnaround time, image modification and allowed the use of different designs across the same print job.
Wide Format Printer
While many printing jobs utilize a standard letter or a legal size, and sometimes even smaller, other projects require larger output. For jobs such as posters, flyers, banners, wallpapers and vehicle wraps a printer that can handle large rolls of paper is necessary. The wide format printer does that job. This printer most commonly uses some variant of inkjet or toner-based technology to produce a printed image. It is more economical compared to other printing methods such as screen printing. Without a wide format printer, it would be impractical to create large banners, posters, signs, etc. However, with these machines, you can print these types of projects very easily. Also, you have the option of printing them in sections to assemble them later.
Flatbed printer, typically used for commercial purposes, is characterized by a flat surface where a material is placed on top to be printed on. It is capable of printing on a wide variety of materials such as photographic paper, film, cloth, plastic, acrylic, glass, ceramic, metal, wood, leather, and many more. A flatbed printer uses UV curable inks that are made of acrylic monomers which will then be exposed to strong UV-light to cure them. In that way, printing on wood or canvas carpet, tile, and even glass is made possible. The flatbed printer, although limited only to flat materials, is a versatile tool that could produce the most creative and unique materials.
These tools, perhaps, are the most overlooked part of the printing businesses. With all the technology now available, computers are updated and upgraded so often that a 1-month old computer can become obsolete! However, when the correct technology is purchased this problem can be avoided. Another requirement is high quality HD monitor to see every aspect of the graphics and images on screen. This is necessary to avoid wasted material on test prints, color proofing, resolution and sharpness.
Another thing to consider is computer software. In our company, we make use of the Adobe Suite such as the Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign, which are industry standards. They produce the best results with their complex yet very detailed tools that make designing and printing projects possible.
Flexo vs. digital printing: Which technology is better for your brand’s labels?
There isn’t a clear-cut answer to this question. In fact, “versus” is the wrong word to use when comparing digital and flexographic label printing; neither technology is inherently better or worse than the other.
Which press technology makes the most sense for a particular job will depend on a host of brand-specific factors, including run size, promotional opportunities, lead time, design complexity and more.
And because there are so many factors to consider, there’s no quick rule of thumb you can reference: “If X, then digital is the best technology for your brand. But if Y, then flexo is the better choice.”
So, with no simple answer to this question, how do brands choose?
Well, it requires a conversation with a label converter. And not just any label converter — one that has experience printing millions of labels on both digital and flexo presses. Converters with the capability to print with either technology will give you an unbiased take on which is best suited for your brand’s unique needs.
And while there’s no substitute for a conversation with your converter, in this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of each technology, and certain scenarios in which each might be “better” for your brand.