Category Archives: Technology

Color It Right

Color It Right

Artists use color in many different ways. The colors that we see are light waves reflected or absorbed by everything around us. In nature, a rainbow is actually a white light that is broken apart by the moisture in the air.

The nineteenth century was the turning point for the development of color illustration. At the start of the century, books with colored plates were hand colored by the artist using techniques that dates back to the Renaissance. A hundred years later, the steam driven printing press and the photo reproductive techniques took printing out of the hands of the artist and introduced processes which would be used until the computer revolution of today.

Today’s color printing uses new technologies and techniques such as digital lithography. Color printing today is generally handled using offset lithography. This printing process coats a rubber drum with the color and water necessary to produce the image. The image is then transferred to the offset drum. From the offset drum the image is transferred to the paper or other printable medium. This process makes it possible to transfer color photographs easily.

As technology continues to develop, new printing techniques will eventually overtake offset printing as the number one printing option. Offset printing is the least expensive at this point but manufacturers of digital printing are trying to catch up.

Keep in mind that the right printing technique for any business is one that delivers a superior output, time after time, with no breakdown in quality. Traditional full color printing involves higher set up costs, thus, excluding small quantity jobs from full color. The increased set up costs also creates large outdated inventories of previously printed materials produced in large amounts to justify the costs of full color. But that is in the past. Digital color printing is fast gaining with offset printing.

Digital printing is one the best kept secrets of the printing industry. Using this technology, you can print full-color materials with high resolution images and crisp text in very short runs on demand. There are two types of digital printing in color. The first one is purely electronic. This method uses no plates and toner based ink on true digital presses. The second type is called direct image printing or DI printing. This method uses conventional ink and plates to print runs as low as 250 to 500.

Whether you use pure or DI printing, you can now afford to print in color. Printing in color has been much affordable these days. So, jazz up your advertising materials with color and images. Don’t be afraid to print your text in red, tangerine or deep green and throw in a few pictures.

Going Digital On Color Printing

Going Digital On Color Printing

If you are one of the many people who are looking for the best and new way of color print, look into digital color printing. Digital color printing offers the cleanest, best looking print. Nowadays, most commercial printing companies offer digital color printing.

Digital color printing is clearly an added value to all printing companies to their print offering, and widens their reach into profitable new markets. Using digital color printing, you may be able to switch jobs very quickly, even without the stopping of your process, or maximizing your process.

Because it is digital the variable data printing feature is particularly useful. You may be able to make changes and if for instance in the text, image, or date on a label by label basis. This feature is used for specially numbered, coded or personalized labels at full press production speed.

Full color printing is another area where digital printing offers a big advantage to flexo. (Flexo is Flexographic printing that was introduced to the printing industry during the 1980s.) The process for color printing is so much more complex with flexo due to its technical limitations. Multi-layered prints, for example, are extremely difficult to realize in flexo. With digital color printing, color labels are no longer a time and labor-consuming job.

Base from the testimony of digital color printing clients, they are pleased with the high quality of the printed label, the flexibility in designs and the virtually limitless finishing possibilities. So they keep on returning to the printing company with digital color printing services offer.

If you have this service in your printing company, perhaps your company will likely have a stronger selling position than other printing agencies. You can even always say ‘yes’ to your clients to all their designs, regardless of their complexity, because there are no limits anymore. No matter what your printing needs, somehow, digital color printing can be able to meet them.

The advantages of digital color printing are many and important. For instance, customized designs and printing arrangements are easily programmed, and as I’ve said earlier you can also make changes in your design with no hassle. Your project can be produced on a mass scale, even for coding and marking. Excellent workflow efficiency is another notable characteristic of digital systems. Businesses can have output on demand and great inventory control with digital technology.

Digital Printing + Short Run Process

Digital Printing + Short Run Process

When you need brochures, postcards, business cards or posters printing in small quantities and fast turnaround time, who do you turn to? Surely not The Flash, your comic superhero that possess “super-speed” power. In needs like these you need to turn to your modern day super heroes – the short run printing companies.

Short run printing is a great way to print smaller quantities of products that will change occasionally or that are needed right away. This printing technology is also known as “Print on Demand”. With the document taken straight from disc to press, digital short run printing removes the expense of making plates necessary with traditional print. Hence, this means that small numbers of print jobs can be done cost effectively. Additionally, you can save thousands of dollars and enjoy other advantages like shorter lead-time and personalization.

For some people using short run digital printing systems cost much, does little and has no market. But on the other hand, some people claimed that this technology has redefined their business. This short run technology has transitioned their industry into a more profitable company.

So why use short run digital printing? The answer is simple, it is cost effective. This printing technology provides the quality of conventional lithography printing without the need of having to order large volumes to make up for the cost of printing. Because they can also be personalized they are likewise ideal for direct mail.

Digital printing has been a door opener for many businesses. Because printers sell the same thing as everyone else, everyone tries to claim that their service, quality and price are better than others. For this reason, every printer has to find something that would separate them from everyone else. And some business owners find that they have increased productivity after using digital technology and short run processes. Somehow, these gains can be credited to a combination of better pricing and more efficient press performance.

Let’s say you have greeting cards that need to be printed. Obsolete inventory through the use of short run digital press can be eliminated. This is because with this technology you can print only the needed cards, thus, resulting to orders printed in the exact quantity required. But just the same this kind of printing system is not for everyone. There are risks and changes that need to be dealt with.

Nevertheless, the printing industry will continue to change and improve in the years to come. Thus, all business owners and companies have to do is to determine whether this certain printing technique is what they need.

Graphic Designs

Graphic Designs

Graphics are needed everywhere and are being created by millions of people all over the world. The real art is not just in creating graphics but arranging them in conjunction with other text and images to produce a coherent and interesting piece of work, according to the end goal. This is what is meant by graphic design. The process of graphic design enhances the look of a layout, is attractive to viewers, simplifies the message and helps communicate a message effectively. As simple it may seem, it is lot of hard work.

While creating a graphic design, designers plan and analyze factors such as audience, aim of the message, and medium (such as print, online, book or poster). Once basic requirements are sorted out, text and graphics are organized on selected formats and layouts. Fonts, color, size and arrangement of text and graphics are re-looked at and sent for proofreading. While doing any graphic designing, basic elements design like line, shape, texture, space, size, value, color, balance and rhythm are used. Graphic designs also need to respect the principles of design like balance, color, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, proximity, repetition, rhythm, texture, unity, and white space. All these concepts are not new and have been understood many years back. However, they can be applied in many ways to create unique graphic designs.

The discipline of graphic design has been existent since very long and is becoming more and more flexible with the advent of new software and printing technologies. There are many software packages like Macromedia, Adobe, Corel Draw, and Paint Shop that aid in high quality and complexity of graphic design. Even the most qualified and experienced graphic designers need to be well versed and expert in the use of graphic design software, as almost all graphic designing is now being done on computers. One can easily print out drafts and make modifications many times, unlike the hand created stuff.

The art of graphic design is in high demand these days as it can be applied anywhere like print, films, animations, and computers. To be a graphic designer, one needs to get specialized training. The key to a graphic design is that it communicates the message well while being aesthetically appreciated. A good graphic design can attract viewers and do wonders while a bad one can spoil even the most important message.

Graphic Designers

Graphic Designers

Graphics are needed to enliven a given space. But to create impact they must be designed and used sensibly. Graphic design is not just about creating good looking stuff, but creating impact and communicating sense. Not such an easy job. Graphic designers are fully equipped and qualified people to perform this task. They can create graphics, modify, restructure, arrange and rearrange them to communicate the required message. This could involve arranging print and graphics for pages of a document, creating an interesting logo or mast head, catalogue, company calendars, year planners, invitations, postures, advertisements, banners, publications, designing a website and so on.

Depending on the purpose of a graphic to be created, audience and medium, designers think of different ideas and concepts to communicate the message in the best possible way. The final development also depends on the medium to be used such as print, film or electronic. Layouts are created by hand or computer to put the idea on paper. Use of computers in graphic designing has become a must. Graphic designers should keep updating their skills and knowledge on latest software.

Graphic designers need to be creative with a constant supply of fresh and unique ideas, able to work under tight deadlines and should keep updating with new technology and demands. It is a customer relations job and their needs should be respected first. Some clients demand lot of rework until they get what they had in mind. Satisfying a client is a tough job and needs patience.

There are some qualities which graphic designers must have. Some people are innately capable and can become polished after getting trained, while others are interested and can acquire skills. There is also a category of graphic designers who are not very competent even after full fledged training. There are many long and short term graphic design courses for people to get trained. Some take students only after they qualify a basic skills test. A full-time bachelor’s degree with advanced short courses gives one an edge. However, experience is the biggest teacher. Graphic designers are much in demand with the ever increasing needs of the Internet, website designing, animation and animated films. It is one the most attractive occupations in present times.

Looking for Ways to Improve the Bottom Line? Think Print!

Looking for Ways to Improve the Bottom Line? Think Print!

Looking for Ways to Improve the Bottom Line? Think Print!
If this sounds ridiculous to you then chances are you really should read this article.
Fact is that print is one of the biggest areas of unregulated expense within an organization. In fact, most companies ignore expenses associated with printing. This typically results in un-metered costs, escalating waste and increased obsolescence from this business necessity. Just like any resource area, an audit will help you identify areas that can be optimized and improved.
How Can You Start?
Companies can begin to streamline their printing expenses by enlisting the help of an organization skilled in corporate printing audits. Printing audits involve examining historical consumption patterns, direct and indirect costs associated with storage and distribution, obsolescence due to changing business environments, attrition, and advances in technology.
Why Should You Schedule An Enterprise Print Audit?
Such activities are useful to determine what can be brought in-house, what can be templated for print-on-demand activities, what should be warehoused, and what can be eliminated. Establishing a corporate print business plan empowers the enterprise by:
1. Reducing up-front expenses by redirecting inventories to a service provider willing to facilitate pay-as-you-go print services
2. Delivering real-time reporting on seasonal and departmental consumption patterns
3. Anticipating shortages in printed forms and marketing literature
4. Improving operational efficiencies by enabling existing personnel to focus on more important tasks.
What Does A Print Audit Cost?
It depends on who you ask. Large consulting organizations may charge thousands of dollars to conduct an assessment. But many consulting organizations also lack the industry specific skills to make recommendations or substitutions. They also may charge to build systems that are not currently in place to help monitor and control future consumption, warehousing and distribution.
Print service providers, on the other hand, will often conduct an audit with no upfront cost in order to gain the subsequent opportunity inherent to the organization. This makes sense: it’s a win-win solution for both the printer and the company. During the audit process, the printer will prepare a cost-estimate to produce existing inventories. This cost-estimate will give the company a cost benchmark, and both organizations can agree on what a reasonable improvement might be within a given period of time.
What Does A Winning Solution Look Like?
Once implemented, an enterprise print solution might encompass any or all of the following optimization strategies:
o Local and regional warehousing of print items close to specific markets. This reduces shipping costs and compresses turnaround times to get business- and mission-critical documents to those who need it.
o Online inventory tracking systems to report on consumption by various department or regions. These systems also help control stocks. For example, if one branch is low on sales brochures, and another is overburdened with supply, the two locations can re-allocate their materials accordingly instead of unnecessarily ordering more. This also results in less waste because of spoilage because of mishandling or neglectful storage.
o Print-On-Demand can be used to help fulfill urgent needs caused by expansion, training requirements and seasonality. Things like business cards, stationery, and courseware can be customized very quickly once a corporate style-guide detailing fonts, logos and colors are supplied to the printing company. This results in less waste because you only produce what is necessary at the time.
o Document grouping can help leverage savings derived from volume print jobs. Instead of printing a large quantity of one item, you can print smaller amounts of everything at the same time and still get a similar savings benefit. This also results in less waste because of spoilage because of stale-dating.
o All regions can benefit from a consistent look-and-feel to all marketing and sales material, delivering a unified image no matter where you operate.
o Cash-flows are improved because items in inventory with the printer are only paid for as they are consumed.
Where Can I Go To Get A Free Print Audit For My Organization?
The Data Group of Companies specializes in preparing winning solutions for many of North America’s best-known companies. With over 9700 customers including The Bank Of Montreal, ADP, Petro-Canada, Shell, Overwaitea Food Group, Save-On Foods, Translink, BC Lottery Corporation, and many others, we are well equipped to handle your printing and communication requirements. The Data Group of Companies has over 20 manufacturing and warehousing facilities across the country designed to produce high-quality solutions.

On Demand Printing The Latest Printing Capabilities To Hit The Market

On Demand Printing The Latest Printing Capabilities To Hit The Market

On demand printing is a form of just-in-time program management. The term on demand printing refers to the idea of printing documents only when they are needed, as opposite to printing large quantities of documents and storing them on a shelf until they are needed. However, many people think that on demand printing is the same as with digital printing, but there are some important differences. On demand printing or basically known as print on demand (POD) it is a process that supports the creation of printed matter.

Print on demand (POD) provides:
• What the customer wants (content in the appropriate form)
• When the customer wants it (as needed)
• Where the customer wants it (at or near the point of use)

In some other way, print on demand involves processing information in digital form with the primary objective of producing printed documents, in optimal quantities, at the end point of use, within the shortest possible timeframe, with content that is selectively targeted or customized for the recipient.

It is good to think that on demand printing is a process not a certain types of devices. The reason is that customers are not up to the hardware or software that are being used to make a certain print, but to the value of print outcome of the on demand printing process.

Print on demand is now changing the traditional printing process and the delivering process of documents such as when, where, and in the quality and quantity required by the customer. These changes have created new business opportunities for companies that understand the underlying economics, processes, and requirements for key industry segments and printed products.

On demand printing is one of the latest printing capabilities to hit the market, for some industries. And when print on demand is combined with capabilities of the Internet, it has a lot to offer companies that need specific types of print jobs done in a very short timeline. Another reason that many companies contract out their printing needs is time. Several companies concept an idea and then need that idea delivered to customers as quickly as possible. It’s one way to stay ahead of the competition. Outsourced printing via print on demand services meets those needs.

This type of outsourced printing seems to be a combination of do it yourself and professional printing. The company designs the piece they need to be printed, and the dealer does the printing and mailing. It’s a synergy that reduces the cost of touching customers with printed materials but still speeds the time from concept to finished product.

Difference Between Short Run Printing And Print On Demand

Difference Between Short Run Printing And Print On Demand

Knowing the difference between short run printing and print on demand is a key point to be able to understand comprehensively these two printing services. Short run printing and print on demand are somewhat alike, in terms in process perhaps. However, these two has their own dissimilarities.

By definition, short run is an industry term used to describe replication or duplication in small quantities, usually from 1-500 copies. Short run printing allows you to print smaller quantities. You can print as few as 500 copies of whatever you need printing, whether it be color post cards, posters, or flyers. Short run printing also means that you can get your printing needs returned to you faster.

And print on demand is a latest technology that uses digital printing techniques to produce standard prints in a rapid and cost-effective process.

In regards to their dissimilarities, print on demand, this is the making of one copy at a time through a diversity of manufacturing methods and short run production, which produces very small amount, mostly used for course adoption and small book-trade orders.

Print on demand is a fairly new adaptation of the short run printing technologies that most of printing companies utilizes to produce high quality short run print. However, there are quite a few differences between short run printing and print on demand printing.

• Print on demand printing typically gives you a choice of standard templates and offer very little custom design and little-to-no thought for your printing project. Short run printing does not offer standard templates.
• Most of print on demand printing service produces books sized to 5.5″x8.5″ with no exceptions, thin volume books; they cannot have print on the spine. Very few print on demand service can produce a book with an integrated graphical hardback case-made cover. Short run printing does not require a standard size. Since short run printing can customize the design each book, short run printing can also produces books that are unique and stand out.
• Print on demand printing typically only creates trade hardback books. Short run printing produce completely custom, library edition oversewn or smythsewn hardback books that will last for generations.
• Print on demand printing publish your work on an “as is” basis and leave everything up to you. Short run printing can handle the entire publishing process for you.

No matter how many dissimilarities these two may have they both end up in a the same method, these two uses similar digital printing processes.

Print On Demand versus Short Run Printing

Print On Demand versus Short Run Printing

Print on demand is a new way printing technology that makes the production of a certain very low print runs possible. The ultimate in print on demand is the production of one copy at a time. This is only possible using new digital printing techniques. Unlike the so called short run printing, it defines traditional printing in small numbers for a very limited stockholding; while on demand printing enables the printing as a specific response to a customer order, thus, on demand prints will never go into stock.

As a formal definition of print on demand and short run printing is that – print on demand is a fairly recent technology that uses digital printing techniques to produce standard print books in a rapid and cost-effective process. While short run printing is a traditional way of printing for just what its name imply – a short print run. It means that in traditional printing, the more quantity you print in one run, the cheaper the cost of each unit.

The advantage and disadvantage of print on demand: The main advantage of print on demand is that the cost of printing does not occur first. Therefore, the initial cost of inventory is only the cost of setting up the digital files to print the book when an order occurs. One disadvantage is that it takes a very large investment to control quality and to manage the flow of books printed one copy at a time. A second disadvantage is that bookstores and wholesalers do not order stock of books printed one at a time. Therefore such books are always “special order”, which diminishes sales. Higher unit production costs, compared with offset, can also make it difficult to give a book an attractive retail price.

Also short run printing has its own advantage and disadvantage: One advantage is that its better quality control and potentially lower unit cost, compared to print on demand. Another is that it allows production of stock for wholesalers and retailers to order, which they do. Its disadvantages: short run printing does not totally eliminate warehousing and inventory costs as one off print on demand does.

The best use of the print on demand is from the point of converting thousands of titles to one at a time print on demand availability, increasing sales and reducing warehousing costs. While short run printing is best used

a) when the title is expected to sell more than 100 but fewer than 1,000 copies per year
b) when the publisher wishes to minimize the initial investment in a title, but wishes to sell through bookstores. According to statistics, small publishers release about 50,000 new titles per year. The average number of copies printed is 3,800; the average life of the book is nine years, or 420 sold per year. For many of these 50,000 titles short run is optimum because of the savings in initial printing costs and storage costs—especially considering that if demand actually justifies it, the publisher can switch from short run to offset at any time.

Furthering your education is always a good investment

Furthering your education is always a good investment

I have chosen three of the many options available when you earn a Bachelor degree online. Each of these careers involves computers in some shape or form. You may find that you can work from home after earning your Bachelor degree online. Like I said, there are plenty of options. The three I chose are only a small sample of what is available over the World Wide Web.

Graphic Design is a hot career that is high demand right now. Once you have earned your Bachelor degree online in Graphic Design you are well on your way to an exciting new career that you will truly enjoy. If you love art and design than this is a great field to consider.

I like to recommend this field to art students but you don’t have to be a very talented artist to work the programs in this area. People who earn a Bachelor degree online in Graphic Design work in very exciting fields like advertising, illustration and promotional print presentations.

Another art-inspired field is visual effects and Digital Video BA programs. When you earn a Bachelors degree online in this field you are opening the doors to a dynamic world of sight and sound. If you’ve ever dreamed of working in film or in television then this is a prime choice for you.

Can’t decide which medium is right for you then you may want to consider a Multimedia Arts and Design program. I find this online Bachelor degree to be very appealing because you get to work in different media. This is a great choice for students who want a lot of variety.

People who go into the field of Multimedia Arts and Design work in a number of different mediums. They create three dimensional images, brochures, commercials among a number of other endeavors. This is a great Bachelor degree online program for someone who likes a lot of change in their workplace.

Each of these examples is appealing to people who typically are not considered technologically savvy. However, the right Bachelor degree online program will give you the training to merge your creative side with the latest technologies.