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san diego print shop
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The Tricks of the Printing Trade Revealed

Category: Print

direct-mailing-tipsAdding special effects to your print pieces is always a good thing. The key to impress and entice is obviously to differentiate your print piece amongst all the other “junk-mail.” I must re-emphasize for everyone, how important this is. If you choose to play the mailing game, you have to know how to create illusion. This is not to say that your services are not competent to the nice paper stock and metallic inks, but the image does play a role in the overall influence that you will have on the consumer. Let’s visit some key pointers that may help you save money on printing and get you the reaction that you’re looking for!


Always talk to your print service provider about utilizing the latest varnishes and coatings that are available. I cannot emphasize enough, what a difference a “Soft-Touch” coating can make when your postcard not only looks, reads and presents itself well, but also FEELS velvety and more expensive. Some great inexpensive tricks to consider are striking through a dull varnish coating with an overall gloss coating. This will allow you to create the effect of offline spot dull and gloss varnish without having to pay additional fees for extra passes through the printing press. If you choose to do your printing on uncoated paper, you may replace 4cp inks with special kaleidoscope 4cp. This is great to brighten up colors and extend your color gamut range of traditional 4cp inks and also to decrease any flattening of colors when the ink soaks into the paper.

Commodity Grade Offsets

In terms of commodity grade offsets, work with your graphic designer to figure out if it will be possible for you to avoid the need for opaque paper by limiting the ink saturation on both sides of your print project. Commodity grade offsets are 92 bright and opaque papers are typically 96 bright. The selection of a commodity grade offset over an opaque for light to medium coverage print piece could potentially save you around 15% on the cost of printing.

Paper Stock

If you have experienced quality issues like the folding and cracking of self mailers you must remember the importance of creating “grain correct” layouts. If you are using stock sheet, the paper stock will need to be converted into a short grain size. Moreover, a large quantity print job on 100# gloss cover may be better accommodated with a 9pt gloss cover, since 9pt can be produced on a web press, while most 100# cannot. You should always make a quick pit stop at your print service provider to take a look at all your options, go through and feel the paper stocks that are available and see if there are options that could be more cost effective for your job.


Most half web paper stock will come in stocking sizes of 18# and 23# wide. Keep your sizes in mind, because a print estimate in need of a quick turn around time will consider a standard stock size. Also, avoid working with final sizes that are a perfect square because they do not make a great fit for the press and you will end up wasting paper.

These pointers should help you and your designers discuss the most efficient and cost effective choices that meet your mailing needs, but to avoid any accuracy or expense issues, the very best thing to do is to consult with your print service provider. A specialist will go over paper stock options, coating choices and cost-effective print sizes.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010.

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