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The Future is Now With 3D Printing

online printingThis week, the Wall Street Journal reported valuable new updates on the evolution of 3-D printing. Aside from functional body parts and food, 3-D printers can now also generate unique and functional pieces of art for your home, out of just about any material. One of the market printers, MakerBot “plans to launch a line of filaments — something like the ink cartridges in a regular printer — made partly of limestone, maple, bronze and iron.” From lacy light-bulbs to chandeliers made of printed gears, the frontier of 3-D printed artisan decor is just ahead of us.

For artists, much of the process of creation and design can be frustrating and arduous. For a fraction of the time and cost, designers can now plan their creations digitally and then use online printing to acquire the individual pieces for assembly. The results are stunning, custom printed items, one-of-a-kind pieces of art that, in time, you’ll be able to print out at and assemble at home.

This development predicts a way to bridge a gap between the artisan and the art. 3-D printing is an engaging enough conversation topic, let alone when you reveal that it’s responsible for a one-of-a-kind home creation. Michael McHale, who uses 3-D printers to make breath-taking chandeliers, says, “It’s not only that they love the product; they’re enamored of the story.”

Instead of handing out one of the 27,397,260 business cards printed every day, what if you could just print out a little model replica of your face? These are the kinds of possibilities on the horizon for custom 3-D printing.

For those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to own a 3-D printer, or don’t have the budget for couture decor, there are lots of ways to get creative with printing. Your local printing services can offer custom canvas art prints, metal art prints, photo books, and more. They also offer card stock printing, so you can design your own paper art and assemble it at home using online printing, just like the pros.

You can also use your local printing company to grow your business with a printed car-wrap, which 48% of people think is the most unique form of advertising, or some promotional calendars, which your customers are reported to keep all year long. The possibilities are endless!

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Why Silicon Valley Is Dead Wrong About Print Being Dead

rush printing

While Silicon Valley loyalists like to think that print mediums are on their way out, they’re hardly unbiased observers. And U.S. businesses know better — 76% of small businesses describe their ideal marketing plan as a combination of print and digital communication. And if print is on its way out, tell that to the U.S. companies who spent a staggering $44.5 billion on direct mail marketing in 2014, or the consumers who printed more than 27 million business cards that year.

In fact, far from being a threat, the digital revolution has given rush printing companies more tools than ever to improve their business and printing services. That’s why printing services in NYC offer some of the most advanced rush printing options in the world today.

When businesses have last-minute printing needs, the best 24 hour rush printing NYC has to offer has never been simpler to use in a rush. In the 21st century, a combination of new digital tools and classic printing techniques have made rush printing more convenient and affordable than ever before. Customers can email digital files or bring them to a rush printing shop on a thumb drive, then have their file printed onto a variety of physical mediums on demand.

The ease of digital photo editing and file transfers, combined with the proven success of print advertising, means that small businesses rely on rush printing more, not less. Plus, outdoor advertising like banner printing, building wraps, and outdoor signs cost up to 80% less than TV ads, 60% less than newspaper ads, and 50% less than radio ads.

That means businesses and consumers alike have easy access to high-impact, low-cost commercial printing options. And with photo editing software getting more advanced with every update, and digital tools making rush printing more accessible, it’s clear why so many people still rely on old-school printing in the new-school digital age.

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4 Reasons Your SMB Should Partner With a Digital Printing Company

digital printing company

If you’ve decided to start integrating more print marketing into your business’ strategy, you’ve made a wise choice. Print marketing methods, if handled correctly, can increase visibility and offer a great return on investment. But if you run a small or medium-sized business, chances are you have some concerns about finding a commercial printing company that can meet both your needs and your bottom line. Here are four reasons you should be looking for a digital printing company in your search:

  1. Fast Turnaround
    A digital printing company will be offering you a turnaround unmatched by other business printing services. That’s because the technology behind digital printing allows your materials to be printed from digital files (hence the name), rather than requiring a more time-intensive setup process involving the creation of printing plates and rollers customized to your project. So if you’ve forgotten the materials for the conference this week, that’s no problem — as long as you’re working with a digital printing company.
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  3. SMB-Friendly Pricing 
    A digital printing company will typically be able to offer a pricing model that is very attractive to SMBs. Why’s that? As explained above, digital printing requires far less setup than traditional printing methods. That means that you won’t be charged hefty setup fees. So even if you’re paying a slightly higher price per piece at a digital printing company than you would at a traditional one, you’ll end up saving money because of the relatively small quantities (called “short runs”) most SMBs need.
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  5. Varied Products
    Of course, each digital printing company will offer slightly different capabilities, but most will be able to print on a wide variety of surfaces to create custom items. That can open up your options in terms of both advertising materials and promotional gifts, which can help you bring in new customers and retain old ones. Research has shown 84% of Americans will remember a company’s name when they received branded products. Consumers actually use these gifts, too; for example, most consumers will keep promotional calendars for all 12 months of the year. You should talk to your digital printing company about what promo items they can come up with that match your business’ niche.
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  7. Customization
    Digital printing allows for a high degree of customization on products, making it the most affordable choice when it comes to items that need unique names, addresses, codes or anything along those lines. Direct mailers are a good example of what this might do for a business — a full 62% of Americans and 63% of Canadians say they actually enjoy checking their mailboxes for real mail.

Have you worked with a digital printing company in the past? Why else would an SMB benefit from choosing a digital printing company? Discuss in the comments.

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What You Didn’t Know About Digital and Offset Printing

digital and offset printing

As much as digital communication has taken over the marketing field, there’s still plenty of room for plain old print. In fact, a full 76% of small businesses say that they’d prefer to combine print and digital marketing as part of an ideal strategy. And some print ploys you would have expected to have died out by now are still going strong. Around 27,397,260 business cards are printed every single day, and last year companies spent more than $44.5 billion on direct mail marketing in the U.S. alone.

If you think your company could benefit from print marketing methods, one of the most important things you can do to control costs and get a good return on investment is educating yourself as to the printing services that are currently available. If you take a look at what’s offered by most commercial printing companies these days, you’ll see you have two major choices: digital and offset printing. Here’s what you need to know about them.

  1. Both Digital and Offset Printing Are Highly Technical
    There’s no need to go into detail about how digital and offset printing work (essentially, the former prints directly from computer files, while the latter requires custom plates and rollers to transfer ink), but you should know that both are highly technical. Comparisons are often made between commercial digital printing and printing something out on your office printer, but there’s simply no way you’ll get the high quality you want if you’re not willing to invest in professional printing.
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  3. One Isn’t Cheaper Than the Other Across the Board
    If you do a little research, you’ll find many people claiming that one printing method is much cheaper than the other. The reality is that both digital and offset printing can be affordable depending on how large of a run you’re looking at. If you’re looking at a print run of only a few dozen copies of something, digital printing is probably your best bet. That’s because there aren’t expensive setup fees for digital printing — the press simply works from the digital file. But if you’re looking to make thousands of identical copies, offset printing is actually cheaper; the initial setup fees associated with offset printing are compensated for by a lower price per piece. The bottom line is both digital and offset printing can be economical.
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  5. The Quality of Digital and Offset Printing is Similar
    It used to be said that offset printing offered a much higher quality than digital printing, but digital printing technology has progressed to the point that that’s no longer universally true. Both digital and offset printing offer very high quality as long as that digital and offset printing is being done by a professional company with an experienced staff and good equipment.

Do you have anything to add about digital and offset printing? Discuss in the comments.

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The Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make When Hiring a Custom Printing Company

custom printing companiesWe often give advice on this blog regarding what you can do to make your print efforts more successful. But when it choosing the right printing company to handle those print projects, sometimes knowing what not to do can be just as helpful. Here are the three biggest mistakes businesses make when screening custom printing companies:

Only Looking at Companies One Project at a Time
Say you’re looking at having a few hundred business cards made up for your business. If that’s the case, then a purely digital printing company might be able to offer you the best deal. But what about when you want to have some high-quality calendars printed to give to clients? Consumers actually tend to keep promotional calendars for all 12 months of the year, and 84% of Americans remember a company’s name if they receive a promotional gift with that company’s logo. And what if you want to spice up your marketing with a custom vehicle wrap? In one poll, 48% thought car wraps were the most unique advertising method available. For those kinds of things, you’ll need to be looking at fully custom printing companies. In the long run, it’s worth focusing on these custom printing companies because you’ll have more options — and probably more flexibility on pricing, too.

Reducing Custom Printing Companies to Their Equipment
We’ve often pointed out the respective pros and cons of digital and offset printing, but it’s a mistake to get so wrapped up in these techniques that you forget about the people implementing them. The best custom printing companies have experienced and highly trained technicians operating their presses, whether those are traditional lithographic presses or brand new digital ones. And in the end, the quality you’ll get from various custom printing companies will depend on the comparative skill of those people, not just the equipment they’re operating.

Sacrificing Customer Service for a Lower Cost
No matter the size of the business you’re running, you’re probably looking to minimize costs wherever possible. But when it comes to hiring custom printing companies, the worst thing you can do is choose one that is able to offer bargain-basement prices because it’s slashed customer service and support offerings. If you’re dealing with projects that have an impact on how your business is ultimately perceived by the public (as most print projects do), then you want to make sure you’ll get the help you need to make them turn out perfect.

Do you have any tips on what to do or not to do when screening prospective custom printing companies? Share them or any other perspectives on custom printing companies in the comments.

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