Digital printing is here to stay. To reap the full benefits of digital printing, including lower costs on small quantities and quicker turnarounds, designers need to make a few small changes in how they approach jobs. Here are a few suggestions geared toward helping you make the most of digital print and save money at the same time.
1) Plan ahead
Many times, quantity determines whether a piece will print digitally. If you’re not sure if your piece will print digitally, check with your print provider. That way, using the tips below, you can design your piece to fit the equipment. Your print provider may have ideas on how to save money, too, such as creating a self-mailer rather than printing both a brochure and an envelope.
If a job is printed digitally, you can usually save money by eliminating bleeds. Not having bleeds reduces or eliminates the need for post-print trimming.
2) Know thy printer (or at least its devices)
Every digital printer or press has optimum and maximum sizes. If you know what size paper your print provider’s equipment runs, you can design your piece in order to get the best yield out of the paper. Keeping in mind that printers can’t print to the edge of the sheet, changing a 6″ x 9″ postcard to a 5.5″ x 8.5″ postcard means getting four postcards out of a 12″ x 18″ sheet of paper rather than two. Not only does this mean fewer sheets of paper, but it reduces print time, both of which save you money.
3) Consider house stocks
Most printers buy a few papers in bulk and keep them on hand. Because they’re readily available, you and your print provider know they will work well on equipment, and you will save money by not paying shipping costs on specialty paper. Also, specialty papers often times needs to be purchased in full cartons which means you’re paying for more paper than your job requires.
Most digital printers print in CMYK only. While some digital presses offer other options such as one or two spot colors, adding colors adds to the price. And, if you really want to save money, print your piece in black ink only.
And while we’re talking about CMYK, be sure to design your piece in CMYK. Although digital devices will translate RGB to CMYK, the colors will not print exactly the same as if you designed the piece in CMYK. And, too, if you want to reprint the piece later in a higher quantity on an offset press, the design will already be done, and the two pieces will be a closer match in color.
Digital printing is a great option for many printing jobs. Be sure to talk with your print provider at the onset of the design in order to maximize the benefits of this high-quality, quick turnaround, and low-cost method of printing.