All across the United States – in Miami, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Antonio, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York and beyond – people need to print things. On an everyday basis, many people need to print a few documents for record keeping or the like. A little less frequently, people find themselves in need of thousands of pieces of printed materials – be them business cards, flyers, posters, postcards, direct mail marketing materials, brochures or booklets. And then they’re stuck trying to find the answer to this ever more difficult question: “Which frickin’ printing company should I choose?”
The reason we say the question is increasingly difficult to answer is that there are more options to choose from just about every day! There are many online print giants, tons of small time internet operations, and the local walk-in copy shops on the corner, just to name a few. Some have obvious advantages over others – a local business, as opposed to an online giant, is good for people who are not very tech savvy and who are attached to seeing a real person’s face when they do business. At the same time, these customers have to be prepared to pay a premium for the face time they get at a walk-in operation. This premium will be paid not only in added expense, which presumably goes to helping the shop pay the rent and pay all the people attached to the faces, but also in added time investment. After all, it’s very time-efficient to simply upload a file and have an internet-based printer work its magic and ship your finished product to you.
So for the average web-savvy printing customer, internet-based printers are really the only viable option. But that narrows down the task of choosing a printing company but a little. In order to truly figure out which print giant is best for your needs, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions. Here are some examples:
-Is it important that my printed materials reflect PERFECTLY the colors I’ve designed them with?
-How many flyers/business cards/posters do I really want to buy?
-Am I confident that I can create a design that will translate well to print?
-How flexible is my budget?
-Is it important to be able to incorporate specialty print techniques into the printing of my designs?
If you answered that yes, you would prefer to have the colors of your prints match your designs PERFECTLY, it’s most likely because the company your printing will represent has strict corporate standards. If this is the case, you will likely want to choose a printer that does not use the gang run print technique. The gang run print technique is more cost effective (read: it’s cheaper) because printers who use it can run several jobs on the machinery at once. In this way, the process eliminates a lot of wasted paper and energy, making this print method smart not only for the consumer or the environment. The drawback is that printing this way can breed slight variation in the end product, simply because the jobs are done in such quantity. For most people’s printing needs, gang run printing is the best way to go because the quality of the finished work is high while costs are almost impossibly low.