Envelopes Printing

Envelopes Printing

Tooltip TextEven in today’s digital age, a lot of paper is generated as business transactions are carried out. While there is always the option to slip documents from your business to suppliers, clients and other parties in a plain envelope bought at the store, there is also an opportunity to make an impression with the envelope you use.

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A business needs to send out different kinds of documents; tax returns, invitations to official cocktails, cheques, invoices and statements to name a few. Apart from making an impression with envelopes customized with a business name and perhaps logo, having envelopes for different purposes makes sending them out so much faster and easier.

A business can have their customized envelopes for sending out tax returns, checks, statements, invoices and other documents. Organizations can also have envelopes customized for donors to put their donations in. Churches can also have tithing envelopes printed for their congregation to put their tithes in.

Customizing envelopes with printing

Envelopes can be transformed from the ordinary ones found in shops by customizing them so that the recipient knows where the mail is coming from even before opening it. There are different ways of doing this.

One is by putting the name of the organization a corner of the envelope at the front. You can choose to go further and include the logo, motto and location. Another detail that helps to sell an organization is including a website address or a link to a social media page.

 

Organizations can go further and not limit themselves to a corner at the front of the envelope. It is possible to make art out of an envelope. An envelope can have a photo, log or other image from top to bottom. An entire statement can also have the color of a brand or product. For instance, an organization that is involved in environmental conservation, a park or a retreat center can have envelopes with a captivating picture of the woods, a lush green park or other image that showcases the beauty of nature. Similarly, a play center or day care center can send out its documents in envelopes with animation, pictures of toys or other images that represent the fun young ones would enjoy at the facility.

 

Customization within standards

While the ways envelopes can be customized are limited only by the imagination, there are aspects that cannot be changed. Before choosing how to customize an envelope, you have to choose which ones to customize in terms of size, the stock they are made of and other standard aspects.

 

Different types of envelopes

Before printing envelopes, you need to make a choice between the different types. Envelopes differ by size, color, whether they are self-sealing or not, with or without windows and other options.

 

Envelope sizes

Envelope sizes are important because they determine the size of letter, document or other material that can go into them. The C series of envelope measurements comply to ISO 216 standards.

With this standard, the width of every envelope is arrived at by determining the height by 1.4142. C0 is the largest size with a width of 917mm. The smaller envelopes from this size are the halved parallel of the shorter sides. For instance, C5 is half as big as C4, C6 is half as big as the C5 and so on. All of the C series envelopes are made to hold a flat A4 sheet, a C5 envelope can carry a flat A5 sheet and soon.

 

There are also square envelopes. They come in different sizes and are ideal for sending personal documents like invitations and thank you notes.

 

Classification by use

 

Envelopes are also classified by their purpose. In this classification, there are:

  • Catalogue envelopes

Catalogue envelopes are made with a center seam. This makes them ideal for sending out bulky documents such as catalogues and heavy booklets.

  • Business envelopes

Those that have side seam flaps are the best for machine insertion. There are also those with wallet flaps that leave a wide area for printing. There are also those with square flaps which look contemporary. These are quite popular.

  • Booklet envelopes

These are made with a side seam. They are the best for sending out annual reports and marketing material such as brochures. The open side makes this it ideal for automatic insertion of documents which makes it quick to put items into the envelope for volume mailing.

  • Square envelopes

These envelopes have a side seam and the modern square flap which attracts attention. These are not standard and additional postage is needed to post items in these envelopes.

  • Announcement envelopes

These are the popular A envelopes. They are typically used for sending business documents and much more. They have a side seam and square flap.

  • Baronial envelopes

This envelope has a diagonal seams and a deep, pointed flap. They are typically used for invitations, greeting cards, formal business and announcements.

 

The paper envelopes are made of

When printing envelopes, the material that they are made of has to be taken into consideration. The kind of stock an envelope is made of determines the the kind of documents they can hold and for volume mailing, it is a factor that affects cost. The options include;

 

  • Brown bag envelopes

These are made of 100% recycled paper. They are ideal for sending ordinary personal messages like thank you cards and personalized greeting cards.They are also a good choice for businesses that will with nature such as gardening and landscaping businesses.

  • Environmentally-friendly envelopes

This may sound like brown bag envelopes because they are made of recycled material as well. However, these come in ivory, white or beige. They are also made of 100% recycled paper.

  • Foil-lined envelopes

These make quite a statement when they are used for sending out invitations to both personal and corporate events such as parties and cocktails. They come in gold, silver, red and other colors that can be selected to match the invitation or document that is to be sent.

  • Metallic envelopes

These are often seen during the festive season when they are used to send out invitations to parties and corporate events like end-of-year parties, company anniversary cocktails and other events.

  • Self-adhesive seal envelopes

These seal securely so you can be sure that what is being sent in them will not get lost. Also, the task of licking envelopes is done away with. There are different types of them such as the peel and stick type that are completely self-sealing.

  • Envelope liners

Lined envelopes are easily made with envelope liners. Ordinary plain envelopes can be turned into fancy ones with shimmery envelope liners. They are ideal for sending out invitations to glitzy events like weddings, Christmas parties, birthday parties and even office parties.

 

Envelopes with windows

Envelopes with windows are often used to send confidential documents. They are often used by banks and credit card companies to send out bills and statements. Envelopes may have one window where the addressee’s contacts are put or they can have two with an address where the letter should be sent back to in case it gets lost.

 

Deliver a punch

When looking through the mail, people tend to first open envelopes that look like they are something different from the usual bills and credit card statements. Put your mail at the top of the pack with an envelope that will deliver not only your letter, invitation or other document but that will pack a punch with its fancy and classy appearance.

 

 

 

With this standard, the width of every envelope is arrived at by determining the height by 1.4142. C0 is the largest size with a width of 917mm. The smaller envelopes from this size are the halved parallel of the shorter sides. For instance, C5 is half as big as C4, C6 is half as big as the C5 and so on. All of the C series envelopes are made to hold a flat A4 sheet, a C5 envelope can carry a flat A5 sheet and soon.

 

There are also square envelopes. They come in different sizes and are ideal for sending personal documents like invitations and thank you notes.

 

Classification by use

 

Envelopes are also classified by their purpose. In this classification, there are:

  • Catalogue envelopes

Catalogue envelopes are made with a center seam. This makes them ideal for sending out bulky documents such as catalogues and heavy booklets.

  • Business envelopes

Those that have side seam flaps are the best for machine insertion. There are also those with wallet flaps that leave a wide area for printing. There are also those with square flaps which look contemporary. These are quite popular.

  • Booklet envelopes

These are made with a side seam. They are the best for sending out annual reports and marketing material such as brochures. The open side makes this it ideal for automatic insertion of documents which makes it quick to put items into the envelope for volume mailing.

  • Square envelopes

These envelopes have a side seam and the modern square flap which attracts attention. These are not standard and additional postage is needed to post items in these envelopes.

  • Announcement envelopes

These are the popular A envelopes. They are typically used for sending business documents and much more. They have a side seam and square flap.

  • Baronial envelopes

This envelope has a diagonal seams and a deep, pointed flap. They are typically used for invitations, greeting cards, formal business and announcements.

 

The paper envelopes are made of

When printing envelopes, the material that they are made of has to be taken into consideration. The kind of stock an envelope is made of determines the the kind of documents they can hold and for volume mailing, it is a factor that affects cost. The options include;

 

  • Brown bag envelopes

These are made of 100% recycled paper. They are ideal for sending ordinary personal messages like thank you cards and personalized greeting cards.They are also a good choice for businesses that will with nature such as gardening and landscaping businesses.

  • Environmentally-friendly envelopes

This may sound like brown bag envelopes because they are made of recycled material as well. However, these come in ivory, white or beige. They are also made of 100% recycled paper.

  • Foil-lined envelopes

These make quite a statement when they are used for sending out invitations to both personal and corporate events such as parties and cocktails. They come in gold, silver, red and other colors that can be selected to match the invitation or document that is to be sent.

  • Metallic envelopes

These are often seen during the festive season when they are used to send out invitations to parties and corporate events like end-of-year parties, company anniversary cocktails and other events.

  • Self-adhesive seal envelopes

These seal securely so you can be sure that what is being sent in them will not get lost. Also, the task of licking envelopes is done away with. There are different types of them such as the peel and stick type that are completely self-sealing.

  • Envelope liners

Lined envelopes are easily made with envelope liners. Ordinary plain envelopes can be turned into fancy ones with shimmery envelope liners. They are ideal for sending out invitations to glitzy events like weddings, Christmas parties, birthday parties and even office parties.

 

Envelopes with windows

Envelopes with windows are often used to send confidential documents. They are often used by banks and credit card companies to send out bills and statements. Envelopes may have one window where the addressee’s contacts are put or they can have two with an address where the letter should be sent back to in case it gets lost.

 

Deliver a punch

When looking through the mail, people tend to first open envelopes that look like they are something different from the usual bills and credit card statements. Put your mail at the top of the pack with an envelope that will deliver not only your letter, invitation or other document but that will pack a punch with its fancy and classy appearance.

Retail Packaging Printing

Product packaging does more than contain a product. It also attracts customers if it well done.   It is the printing that is done on a package that makes it attractive, differentiates if from other products and motivates a customer to choose it over competing brands.

 

Getting the first step right

The first step in the direction of attractive retail packaging printing right is getting the design right. The design has to fulfill important criteria. It should:

  • have a name that is distinct and different from other brands

–     have the manufacturer’s name and address or link to a website or social media page. A customer care phone line should also be included

–      include an image that represents the product or its use such as soapy suds on a bar of soap or bottle of detergent

–       have text that explains what the product is for such as dishwashing liquid, toilet bar soap and so on. The text should be very brief and highlight why this product is better than competing brands. For instance, a personal care product like a body cream or lotion can have details like, fragrance, quickly absorbed without greasy residue and non-allergic.

–        a date of manufacture and expiry date which is mandated by law.

–        the weight of the product in grams, kilograms, millimeters or liters as is applicable.

–        have a list of ingredients and a breakdown of nutrients in the case of edible products.

 

The Printing Options

Having made a decision about the design, you can decide on the specifics of the printing as follows;

1) The shape and form of the package

Solid items are typically packed in boxes. The box may be as small as one that holds a bar of soap or a large one that holds a kilogram of breakfast cereal or 10 kg of pet food. Apart from being customized with a design, retail packaging boxes and bottles can also be customized with different shapes to make them stand out.  This is done with special die cuts.

 

Die cuts can be done to effect so that they make a product stand out even more. One example of this is the boxes that are made to hold toilet fresheners. Some are small triangle-shaped boxes that have a window that allow a buyer to experience the scent of the freshener while it still in the box. This definitely gives such a brand an edge over similar products in ordinary box. Die-cuts and windows are also effective for selling edible products such as sweets and products for children who are curious and prefer items they can get a peek of. This works well for products like toys and stationery such as crayons and coloring pencils.

 

2) Secondary packaging

Secondary packaging is another way to ensure that you have retail packaging that stands out. Typically, boxes are made to hold a product securely. However, one box can be made to hold more than one product which is what is known as secondary packaging. This is where a box has trays, box dividers, cardboard partitions or special die cuts to hold other products inside. Sometimes, a box can be divided to hold more than one product.

Secondary packaging can be customized with printing. Take the example of a box of assorted chocolates that are arranged in a foil package that holds each one separately. A chocolate manufacturer can make their batch stand out by printing a message on the secondary packaging. Perhaps the foil underneath can have a single letter under each piece of chocolate to spell out a message like I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me or other message that one would want to give with a box of chocolates.

 

3) Embossing and foil packaging

Retail packages can also be customized with embossing and foil.  One or two of these touches add a touch of elegance to a product and is ideal for up market or premium products like designer fragrances and premium cosmetics. An embossed package raises a graphic element like an image or text above the surface of the paper. The opposite of this is debossing which depresses the image. The result is an image than can be felt and seen.

 

With foils, a very thin metallic image of gold or silver foil is stamped onto the box. The resulting foil creates an accent and highlight unique to metal and it reflects light very attractively.  To make a product stand out even more, foiling can include an image but also some text like a brand logo or motto.

 

4) UV finishes

UV coating or finishing refers to the application of a glossy or semi-glossy coat which is done using a clear liquid that is applied to the printed surface. This coating is then immediately dried or cured under a UV light which is why the coating is so-named. For uniqueness and for the sake of capturing consumer attention, there is the option to do spot coating rather than flood or full-surface coating.

 

You can spot coat the name of the product, the manufacturer, the product image or other detail that you want to stand out and for consumers to always remember.  Spot UV can also be used to create a touch and feel because spot-coated areas have a slightly raised surface. Depending on the type of coating you choose to do, an image can be not only seen but also felt. For instance, a box of orange juice powder can be spot-coated to have the look and feel of an orange peel.

 

UV coating can be done in several finishes. A popular choice for printed boxes is a glossy finish. It makes a pack appear sleek which gives it a luxurious look and feel. This can be enhanced with tint such as rose or sepia. Matte is the other common UV finish. It gives a package a natural-looking finish. Various abrasives may be added to give a package a tactile, uncommon feel such as the feel of very fine sand paper. If not sand paper, matte paper can have a soft touch finishing that is as the name suggests, very soft.

 

Another UV finishing option is glitter such as the type used on greeting cards. It can also be used selectively and attractively on a package such as on make-up boxes or art and craft products for children. There is also the option of glow-in-the-dark which as the name explains, glows in the dark.

 

5) Color options

In printing retail packages, there is the choice to print in full color, spot color or black and white. Full color printing is the best option for the sake of having a package that is bright and attractive. Consumers usually just see different colors on a package but there are differences.

 

Full color printing or process printing is done with black, yellow, cyan and magenta (CYMK) which are mixed to get all the other colors. Every one of the four colors is printed in a dot mosaic in proportions that convince the eye that there are more colors present than there actually are.  If you look very closely at a package that has been printed this way, you can actually see the dots.

 

Then there are Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors developed by Pantone, a company that manufactures printing ink. The company came up with a standard set of colors that that numbered and which are matched to recreate that set. Printers look at a book that has a swatch of colors and they order the swatch of ink they want.  PMS colors are custom mixed unlike in process printing. With process printing, there may be slight differences in the different print runs which does not happen with PMS colors. PMS colors are also much more vibrant than process printed colors. Also, special colors like neon and metallics can only be printed with PMS colors. It is the better option overall.

 

6)  Barcodes

Another aspect to think of with retail packaging printing is the barcode. Barcodes are actually a generic name that refers to a host of machine-readable codes that are used to track items. In actuality, they have many applications in various industries from hospital identity bands to driver’s licenses.

 

Today, the most popular barcode is a two-dimensional one that was created by Toyota to track car parts. Since this QR code was created, it has been adopted by a lot of businesses, more so the mobile phone industry. It allows users to scan a QR code using their Smartphone so they can have websites displaying quickly.

 

For retailing and merchandise packaging in general, the Uniform Product Code, Version A (UPC_A) is the barcode that is most commonly used. It is the 12-character code that is used in retail shops to track products. They are also used to keep product inventory which automates product re-ordering. It is can also be used to compare the sale of similar or competing products which gives insight into consumer preferences which can be used to create targeted product promotions.

 

There is the option to have customized barcodes on a product. As long as the machine-readable bar images are maintained in size and spacing, it can be customized to effect and the top goal of attracting consumer attention.

 

Getting it right

All the aspects above determine the final look of your package will be. Get each one right and you get product that catches the attention of a consumer and retains it even as they look at competing products. Result- a loyal customer.

Stickers Printing

Stickers are a common medium of advertising. They are popular for a number of reasons;

  • they can be placed on still and moving media such as vehicles which means unlimited reach.
  • they are affordable
  • they are easy to put up and take down
  • they can be done in a number of ways in terms of shapes, size and the stock or paper they are printed on.

Choosing sticker printing options

The first decision about sticker printing to be made is the paper or stock a printer will be printed on.

  1. There are three basic options which then open up other options. These are matte or glossy stock and vinyl.  Matte paper has a dull finish that is not shiny much like ordinary office printing paper and notebook paper. It is ideal for printing name tags, mailing labels or other sticker that need to hold ink well for legibility. Glossy paper on the other hand has a subtle sheen which adds a touch of sleekness to stickers.

 

The third option is vinyl. It is the longest lasting stock for printing stickers. For spot or single color printing, the stickers are finished with clear lamination that protects against scuffs and scratches. When CMYK printing, stickers are finished with a protective UV varnish.

 

When considering the stock to print stickers on, it is important to consider whether the stickers will be applied indoors or outdoors. This factor will lead you to choosing the right stock.

Stickers made for indoor use are printed on;

  • white or yellow gloss paper and have a semi-glossy appearance
  • white or yellow matter paper which has a flat appearance and which is ideal for labeling
  • -fluorescent paper which is green, red, purple, pink, yellow, blue or orange paper with a bright Day-Glo matte finish. Stickers printed on this stock should be printed with dark ink high contrast with the paper.
  • foil which gives stickers a shiny gold or silver metallic finish.
  • brown craft paper which has a natural look and is also ideal for labeling.
  • laser and inkjet labels which are ideal stock for laser and inkjet printers. They come in different kinds of paper including pastel tinted paper, white matte paper, matte polyester, fluorescent paper, white glossy paper and clear paper.
  • static cling which has static charge that makes it possible for a sticker made out of it to stick onto clean, smooth without adhesive. These stickers can be done on white or clear static cling. Clear cling can have the static on the face or back of a sticker but with white cling, the static can only be at the back.

 

Stickers meant for outdoor use can be printed on;

–  clear vinyl which is durable and weather-resistant. When it is applied, it appears almost completely clear. It is best to print white ink behind the image area so that it is legible. The adhesive can be at the front or back depending on the direction the sticker will be viewed from.

–  white vinyl which is also tough and well able to stand up to the elements. It comes in white and yellow.

–  polyester which is also very durable. This synthetic film is used for outdoor applications where there is a lot of moisture. It comes in chrome, brushed chrome, white and gold.

 

Stickers can also be printed on other types of stock to suit their precise status. These are;

 

  • numbered labels that can be used for companies, office and apartment complexes and even government issues.
  • magnets which are made of a flexible white material of different thicknesses
  • glow-in-the-dark vinyl which is made of a luminous material that glows continuously for an hour with proper charge time.
  • tamper-proof decals keep items protected. They are used for sealing electronics such as computers and their components, boxes with vehicle spare parts and other items.
  • domed decals that are finished with a clear, polyurethane coating which gives them a one-of-a-kind three-dimensional appearance.
  • reflective vinyl stickers which are made to be visible at night. These are typically used for security and industrial applications.
  • prismatic decals which have prismatic patterns that are repeated after every six to nine inches. They can be made with or without a seam line appearing on the finished decal.

 

2)  Having the stock the stickers are to be printed on, you then need to decide the adhesive that will be put on them. The options are;

  • permanent adhesive which is the type that is standard with printers. It is a general purpose adhesive that works with most applications. This is how stickers are done unless otherwise stipulated.
  • ultra-removable adhesive which adheres better compared to static and that comes off just as easily and without leaving behind residue.
  • removal adhesive that is made to be taken off after a short time. However, with continued exposure to the elements, even such a label can become permanent.
  • temporary adhesive that makes it possible to apply a sticker, remove it and reapply it on different kinds of surfaces. The adhesive always remains temporary.
  • opaque adhesive which covers the surface it is put on such that the surface is not seen through the label. This sticker is ideal where you need to cover wrong or outdated information. They can also be used where the color of a surface could affect the way a sticker appears. Note that this kind of adhesive could affect the color of the ink and therefore the color matches.
  • white gloss with freezer grade adhesive which is used to label products will be put in an environment that is below 50°F. These stickers have an application temperature that goes up to -20°F.

 

3)  Once you have the two choices of the type of sticker you want and the adhesive you want, you will need to decide on the printing method.

 

  • Flexo printed stickers

This method of printing is quick and cost-effective. With this method, it is possible to print full color stickers in spot or CMYK inks. This method is also compatible with many types of stock and there is the option of printing standard-size stickers or printing in customized sizes. The finished result is a roll of stickers separated by perforation.

 

  • Screen printed stickers

This method is the premium method for printing customized stickers. It is also the method that gives long-lasting stickers that last for between three and five years. There are the options of printing using standard spot inks or custom CMYK process printing which can be done on clear stocks or vinyl. It is also possible to print stickers in customized die-cut shapes. The finished product is a sheet of stickers where the stickers are on individual sheets of backing that have crack and peel liners.

  • Digital short-run stickers

As the name suggests, this type of printing is ideal for printing a few stickers within a short period of time. It is ideal for printing custom-shaped stickers and different kinds of stickers for the same purpose such as stickers displaying different aspects of benefits of the same product. These stickers are all printed through a CMYK process and they come out as individual sheets.


4) Another decision to be made is the ink that will be used to print stickers. They are three options;

  • Pigment-based inks

These inks are a cost-effective option for printing general stickers. There is only one UV-stable pigment-based ink color and it is black. When all the other standard ink colors are exposed to the elements, they do fade over time.

  • UV-stable inks

This type of inks last for three to five years despite exposure to the elements. They are ideal for printing stickers meant for long-term use such as stickers that are to be put up every time there is a sale or special offer.

 

  • CMYK inks

These inks are ideal for printing colorful stickers with images that closely resemble photos. Standard roll products that are printed with CMYK will start to fade over time after exposure to the sun. However, CMYK inks can be UV-stable with digital or screen printing.

 

  • Pantone color matching

This can be done as an alternative to CMYK printing for precise color matching. You can choose from over 25 standard inks.  However, they can only be used for screen printing spot-color sticker prints.

 

5)  Lastly, when the stickers are done, finishing needs to be done and there are several options for this as well.

  • Hot stamping which can make stickers more attractive. This is often used to finish stickers that are put on beauty products for the touch of glimmer they add. This finishing can also be done to ensure products are not tampered with.
  • Foiling which is the use of a length of gold or silver foil. It is ideal for return address labels, for envelope seals, awards and other items where maximum impact is desired. Ideally, foiling should be done on dark surfaces so that the foil stands out.
  • Embossing where an image or text is lifted from the surface so that the raised image or text can be felt as well as seen. It is also to print stickers that go on premium products.
  • Ultraviolet or UV varnishing which is a process done to give a sticker a nice, sleek finishing. This finish is also done to provide protection against the elements. It is a deluxe version of non-UV varnishes and it is done with a special UV drying machine.
  • Lamination which is of two types; matte and gloss lamination. Lamination is done for aesthetics and also for protection against wear which is provided by the plastic film lamination.

VINYL (LARGE FORMAT) PRINTING

Vinyl banners are a popular form of outdoor advertising. They have many applications including displaying company logos and advertising events and promotions. Vinyl Banners printing is very flexible and portable so you can see banners displayed in so many places indoors and outdoors. Outside, they are often seen as billboards, across roads and buildings. Indoors, they can be seen at sports events, trade shows, exhibitions and fairs.

 

In most cases, only one or a few vinyl banners are printed at a time so they are typically printed digitally on large-format inkjet printers. Apart from being ideal for short-runs, these printers can also be used to print full color vinyl banners on a single sheet of vinyl as compared to printing on smaller pieces and the placing them next to one another.

 

What they are made of

 

Vinyl banners are usually made of heavy vinyl that is known as PVC in technical terms. Different banner substrates have different weights. Some are as light as nine ounces while others are as heavy as 22 ounces per square yard. PVC can also be double or single-sided and they can have grommets added so that they can be hang up. As they are typically displayed outside, vinyl banners are typically finished with lamination and banner hem tapers are used to protect the lamination and to hold hems neatly. Banners can be so large that they cover the entire side of a building. Such banners are printed on a particular mesh material that allows wind to pass through rather than move the banner around when it is very windy.

 

Vinyl wish mesh is one type of vinyl. The different types are:

  • scrim vinyl which is very strong and very durable and one of the best options for an outdoor banner.
  • glossy vinyl that is typically used to print full color images that look very bright and vivid because of the glossy surface. This type of banner is also well able to stand up to the elements making it ideal for outdoor banners.
  • matte vinyl that has a glare and a coating that makes it water-resistant. Images also come out clear and vibrant on this kind of banner.
  • blackout vinyl that has a black vinyl layer put between the outer vinyl layers.
  • mesh vinyl closely resembles conventional vinyl with the difference that mesh vinyl banners can better withstand weather elements. The mesh lets wind and moisture through so that it does not weigh down the banner or disturb it in another way.

Production options

Vinyl banners can be printed in different ways;

 

  • Digital printing

This is done using water-based, eco-solvent inks or inkjet inks that are UV-curable. Both types of ink have long-lasting pigments that make them resistant to UV rays and other weather elements. The banners are usually printed on large format inkjet printers. Extra large banners can be printed on what are known as grand format inkjet printers that are up to 2.5 meters wide. They can also be printed with airbrush devices that are computer-controlled with the ink being printed directly on the banner. The largest and most sophisticated grand inkjet printers can be used to print up to 3,000 square feet per hour.

 

  • Vinyl letter banners

With this method, individual pieces of self-adhesive vinyl are applied on a banner using a computer-controlled vinyl cutter.

  • Screen printing

 

In this process, different colors of ink are put down one at a time with screen that have an imaged stencil that the screen printing ink passes through. Screen printing can be done on hand benches or on single or multi-color machines. It can also be done on high-tech multi-color screen presses that have the capacity to print approximately 1,000 meters squared per hour or higher.

  • Painting

Banners can also be worked on manually where they are written on or have images painted on them. With today’s modern printing methods, it is uncommon for banners to be painted rather than printed.

 

Inks used to print vinyl banners

All inks that are used to print have the same effect of putting words and images but different the inks that are used to print on vinyl have different effects. The different types are;

  • Aqueous inks

Aqueous is a term that refers to the liquid in which the colorant is carried which is water. Aqueous or water based inks are available as dye and pigment which may be confusing. Dye inks are best used as cordials which is where the color is dissolved in the water and the ink is soaked onto the banner in and then appears as the water evaporates. In dye inks, the colorant size is small which creates a very small dot size that can be used to print highly detailed images that have smooth tones. When it dries, the surface of the ink is smooth and it reflects accurately which means colors appear bright and vibrant.

 

The downside of dye inks is that they fade in UV light so an outdoor banner printed with it would start to show a shift of color or fading in a few weeks. Also, if water is poured on a banner printed in this ink, the colorant will dissolve and start to run because dye inks are not waterproof. Dye inks are ideal for use to print banners that are to be placed in dry areas like indoors or for printing banners that will be up for only a short time.

 

The other type of aqueous ink is pigment or UV ink. The particles in its colorants are larger than those of dye inks but the difference is not very big. They can therefore remain close enough to form dot-size ink that also gives high resolution results. The shortcoming with this ink is that once the ink is on the page, the particles remain on the surface so when light hits the surface which is not smooth, the result is a color effect that is slightly muted.

 

However, unlike dye, pigment inks mostly remain behind the surface of the banner so if water is poured once the pigment is dry, it will remain dry. Also, pigment inks remain stable in UV light so even banners placed outdoors are safe but not for long periods of time.

  • Solvent inks

Another type of ink that can be used to print on vinyl is solvent inks. These are generally pigment inks that have pigments rather than dyes. However, unlike aqueous inks where water is the carrier, the carrier in solvent inks is volatile organic compounds or VOCs solvents. Another difference is that solvent inks are waterproof and UV-safe so they can be used to print outdoor banners without the banner having to be finished with special coatings over it.  However, outdoor banners should be done in a place with good ventilation to avoid exposure to fumes that are potentially dangerous. Eco or mild solvent inks are not as safe as aqueous inks but their fumes cannot cause as much harm as ordinary solvent inks. All types of used inks should also be disposed carefully.

 

The main advantage of solvent inks is that they are very price-friendly and they make it possible to print on flexible, uncoated vinyl substrates which are the kind on which banners, auto graphics, billboards and adhesive decals are printed. Also, the final result of printing with solvent inks is that colors come out bright and vivid but not as strong as aqueous dye inks.

  • Eco-friendly inks

Just like paint, ink can have some toxic fumes because of the ingredients they are made of. To this end, there are full color offset ink that is completely soy and vegetable-based. The best eco-paints have over 30% vegetable oil and at least 55% of it is bio-derived from renewable, sustainable sources. They do not have petroleum ink solvent and minimal levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

 

Thanks to dedication to conserving the environment, a lot of research has been done into eco-friendly inks with the result that painting with these inks gives very good and lasting results. This is especially the kind when the printing is done on eco-friendly banners which are known as bio-flex banners. They are of high quality and in landfills, they attract microbes that break down the PVC in three to five years. Bio-flex has no toxic materials, does not fade or tear and is resistant to fungi.

  • UV stable inks

After printing, the ink is made stable by being exposed to strong UV light. These kind of ink dries fast with the exposure. Also, they can be used to a wide range of uncoated substrates and the final result is a banner with colors that pop. The shortcoming is the cost of these inks and the fact they need curing modules in the printer which are also expensive. Also, UV-stabilized ink has significant volume so the inks bleed a just a little over the area it has been used on. This quality also makes banners printed with this ink prone to cracking if they are used on a flexible substrate. They are therefore typically used in large flatbed printers that print directly onto rigid substrates where flexibility is not a concern. However, these inks are being used more and more in what are known as hybrid printers which can print on flexible material like vinyl without a problem.

 

A major advantage of this kind of ink is that the fast drying time. The colorants in UV-stable inks may be dye or pigment based with the latter being the more common option because of better durability.

  • Latex inks

This is the latest type of ink. It is currently available only from HP. It has the same and to some people, better performance than solvent ink not only for printing on vinyl but other media like polyester, fabrics and polyethylene which do not adhere very well with solvent inks. Latex ink is water-based with a polymer that bonds to the substrate using heat. Solvent extraction and air purification are not necessary.  Another advantage is the fact the ink is odorless so it is ideal for indoor applications that do not work with solvent ink machines. Also, the print is dry so a banner can go up right after coming out of a printer without the need to let it dry and air for hours.

 

  • Dye sublimation inks

There are two types of this ink. The one that is most popular is aqueous dye sublimation ink that can be used on desktop printers as well as large format printers. The other type is solvent dye sublimation ink that can be used on Spectra, XAAR and Konica print head wide format printers.

Vinyl banner finishing options

Once your banner is finished, it will need to be finished so that it can be put up. The standard finish is heat-welded hems and grommets. The banner can also be cut to the desired size and have only hems or only grommets. It can also be finished with pole pockets and reinforced corners and reinforced hems.

Window Clings/Static Clings

Window Clings/Static Clings

If they are placed at an ideal place, window art are an ideal marketing strategy. There are different types of them including static clings which are also known as window clings. This is one of the most popular kinds of window art. Static or window clings are made of a flexible kind of plastic or vinyl whose smooth surface adheres well to clean glass surface.  The clings remain fast because of the moisture in the air  and that on the glass.

static cling
Static cling vinyl sticks without adhesive because of a static charge. This makes it ideal for use in advertising periodic offers on store windows. They are also ideal for advertising events. Most people can relate to car window clings that declare there is a ‘baby on board’. Window clings put up to advertise a promotion at a store or can conventionally be pulled off clean without leaving any residue. Another advantage is that they can be removed and re positioned without getting damaged.

Window or static clings can be light adhesive-backed or they can be designed such that they cling because of static. Although window clings are so-called because they are made for window displays, they can be used on other smooth surfaces as well.
Type of paper that window or static cling is printed on

There are different options. This include;
• 4 millimeter low-tac adhesive
This is used for clings that are meant for indoor use. It is clear with a mild adhesive-backed substrate that makes it possible for the cling to be viewed from either side of the window. This is done by flipping the artwork in the design stage. The cling is held fast with the low-tac adhesive and because it is mild, there is very little residue left on the window or other surface if any when the cling is removed

.
• 4 millimeter white low-tac adhesive
This cling is also made for indoor use.  It is a white, mild adhesive-backed substrate that is used to create a white background for the selected design. As is the case with the previous type of cling, removal is easy and it leaves little or no residue.
• 4 millimeter frost white static cling
With this option, the white, static cling substrate also has a white background for the artwork. The difference is that instead of adhesive, static cling uses static to hold a window cling in place. There is no residue left when this type of cling is removed.
It is important to know that this type of cling may not give the desired results with full coverage where the ink fills all of the sheet. It is advisable to leave spaces around the design or in it to increase the area that links the cling to the window. However, it one still opts for full coverage print, Low-Tac is the recommended option for better results.
Choice of colors

Window clings are typically done in full color for maximum impact. Full color means that all the colors which are yellow, cyan, magenta and black are seen on the front but no printing is done at the back. Think of the way posters appear. It is also important to note that because of the four-color process, clear window cling does not print in white. If there is any white on the design, it will be printed as clear.
Window cling sizes
Window cling is available in various sizes. They can be as small as 1’ by 1’ or as large as 75’ by 53 inches. This means you can effectively use them no matter how small or big your windows are. Window clings can also be custom-made to fit the precise proportions of the window they are to be placed on.
Window cling cuts
With window clings, all the substrates may either shrink or expand as different batches are made. This makes precise cuts a challenge. For this reason, borders are not recommended. However, if a border is desired, it should be one that has a thickness of at least two inches. Printers generally will reprint if the borders are not exactly same on all the sides after cutting.
There are a number of cut options.
• Inside glass
Also known as second surface, this is where the cling is reverse printed such that the sign will be placed indoors but will it will be facing out. This option is quite popular with small businesses like restaurants and boutiques. It is used to display working hours and to advertise discounts, special deals and other kinds of promotions. It is also popular with homeowners who want to have a external-facing sign on the inside which protects the house from the elements.
The design is printed on the back so that the adhesive side can be applied on the inside of the store or other building while facing outwards. Therefore, the opaque and perforated static clings cannot be printed as ‘inside glass’. If the desired look is opaque, clear cling has to be used with a background that is filled with color or artwork.
• Halo cut
All types of clings can be halo cut. What this means is that the sign is cut to the shape of the actual design with a small border. This is usually a quarter of an inch which is left all around the sign.

• Contour cut
All types of cling can also be contour cut. With this cut, the artwork on the sign is precisely cut around the perimeter of the sign. With this cut, it is important to keep in mind that the sign is all text,  then what is wanted is cut vinyl or vinyl lettering. A good example of this is the store fronts and office windows that have individual adhesive letters applied to form a company name or a brand. While no design is required, highly precise cutting of letters without any borders is needed.

Window cling visibility
Visibility is an important factor. There are different options for optimizing visibility;
• Opaque static cling where the red parts of the artwork is the only part that is printed. White is the default color of the material where there isn’t any ink.
• Clear cling where assuming that red is the only color on the design, then the rest of it remains transparent.
• Perforated cling where those on the outside can see the design on it but they cannot see the  inside of the store or other window it has been placed. They can also see bits of it through micro-punctures. This is also sometimes referred to as one-way vision.

Decals vs. Clings- why clings win
Window clings are one form of window sign. There are also decals and stickers. Clings have a number of advantages. One is that clings can be re-positioned while stickers and decals cannot. This means you can remove a cling from one window and place it on another. This is important if you intend to use the same cling at different times in future such as every time you are running a promotion.
The way the two are removed is another difference that adds onto the advantages of clings. Sometimes, it may be necessary to use soapy water or a razor blade to remove the residue left behind when a sticker or decal is removed. Clings come off clean and fast. Clings also offer a  cost advantage. All types of window decals cost more than clings.
Clear winner
Window clings are an round-winner. They are effective for promotional messaging, price-friendly and very easy to install and take off. They are also re-usable. With the right printer, you will get high-quality window clings that will keep heads turning in your direction.

BROCHURE PRINTING

Brochures are an effective way of marketing every type and size of business. They are also affordable and can be used even when the marketing budget is limited. Their light weight also makes it easy to get them into the hands of customers far and wide thanks to direct mailing.

To get attractive brochures, it is important to understand the options out there so you can choose the brochure that will best suit your business or organization.

Choosing the right paper

Brochures printing can be done on different types of paper. The most attractive design on the wrong kind of paper can derail the whole project. Poor quality paper gives the impression that an organization is unprofessional and the same is true. Attractive graphic design on good quality conveys professionalism and credibility. The two choices of paper are matte or glossy.

Glossy paper

Graphic designers and consumers have a lot of affinity for glossy paper. For graphic designers, it is because of how brilliant colors and designs appear on it because it reflects light off the surface of the paper. Rich, deep shades of black and blues bounce off glossy paper and the other colors come off smoother and vibrant.  For consumers, it is because they equate it with quality thanks to high gloss magazine covers. For one who is looking to print a brochure, you will appreciate these qualities of glossy paper as well as the fact that it costs less than matte paper. The one limitation of glossy paper is that being handled a lot can leave smudges, fingerprints and dust because of the coating on it.

Matte paper

In comparison to glossy paper, matte paper has a softer feel and look for various designs. In fact, the soft look on a lot Web 2.0 websites has inspired graphic designers to incorporate inner glows, soft shadows and other subtle touches in brochure designs. Matter paper helps to diffuse by limiting the light that is reflected from its surface. While high-quality matte paper costs more than glossy paper, marks and smudges cannot be seen on it. This makes it an  ideal choice because a lot of handling does not damage it.

The choice of matte or glossy paper comes to personal preference and the kind of brochure that is to be printed. One page or small brochures can be printed on soft 70-pound matte text paper stock. 100-pound gloss text paper stock is  works well too. If the brochure is a big one with folds or will have several pages, the ideal paper would be 100-pound gloss text or 80-pound matte cover. Matte papers have impact with rich, attractive artwork while gloss papers make colors appear vibrant.

Also, if the brochure has a vivid design or is being used to pass on an unconventional or controversial message, good-quality 100-pound cover or text gloss paper is ideal. If the design is subtle or softer perhaps with a message that is supposed to be thought-provoking, a good choice would be 70-pound or 80-pound matte paper. Recycled matte paper is also ideal if you are printing a brochure related to environmental conservation or if you want to convey the fact that your organization cares about doing environmentally-friendly business.

When all is said and done, it comes down to being innovative with your design. While these are general guidelines, you can work around them to cut up with the most compelling brochure.

Brochure sizes

Brochures can be printed in different sizes. They are traditionally done in dimensions of 8. 5 by 11 inches. However, bigger brochures have bigger impact. They can be printed in 8.5 by 14 inches or even 11 by 17 inches. It costs a minimal amount to print a larger brochure.

Brochure folds

Brochures can be folded in different ways. A good graphic designer will know how to create a design that will stand out with the folds on it. Fold options include;

• The letter fold

This is the most common type of brochure fold. It is ideal for portraying the image of a professional corporation. The brochure is folded into thirds and the right panel is folded under the first one. It is ideal for creating interest and compelling one to unfold the brochure to see what is on the inner panels. The front panel can declare that a special offer or event is ‘hidden’ inside as a pitch with the inner panels carrying the details and a call to action being placed last.

The one shortcoming of this type of fold is that the front panel has to captivating and have a lot of impact so that one who picks it up can open it and read it. Otherwise, it becomes lost in the crowd of brochures with a similar fold. However, this is a shortcoming that a talented graphic designer can overcome.

The Z-fold

This fold works very well for brochures with large, vivid artwork. The brochures are folded to form a Z-shape so they unfold very naturally in the hand. Large or bold lettering can be used to prompt people to open the brochure.

The half-fold

This fold presents a lot of creative options and possibilities. Half-fold brochures can be used as product guides because of the extra panel width that gives room for more images or larger sizes of them that are not detracted with a fold. This fold is ideal for brochures meant for comparing products.
The added width of brochures with this fold makes it ideal for creating a brochure that grabs and holds attention while conveying professionalism and credibility. Note that the extra width means that the brochures won’t fit in the brochure racks that are placed at hotel receptions. Therefore, if you need to promote your business with tourist traffic, then it is advisable to consider another folding method.

The best folding style

The folding style should be considered at the design stage and samples made to arrive at the best option. Also, it is important to keep in mind that there is never the restriction to stay with panels. A creative designer can come up with other layouts for the greatest punch.

Ask for proof
Before you commit to printing a brochure, it is important to see a proof. Double check the proof for grammatical errors in the text, the positioning of the images and text and color errors. The shades you see on the proof are the shades that will be seen on the brochure.
Note that electronic proofs can be used to proofread copy but you should ask for hard-copy proofs to see exactly what the brochure will look at. While most other processes are done digitally, do insist on a hard-copy proof rather than an electronic one.
Higher quantity, less cost
With brochures, it costs less to print more of them. While modern printing technology has made short runs possible and affordable, there are even more savings to be realised by printing in large quantities. Large runs are printed on offset presses which give the best quality but a setup fee has to paid every time an order is made. This is a one-off fee so the more brochures that you print per run, the less you pay per brochure. It is in fact possible to reduce the cost of printing significantly by printing a lot of brochures.

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