ColorFX Inc.

The Printer and the Designer

A few nights ago for the umpteen times, I was watching the film version of Rogers and Hammerstein II great musical Oklahoma! But this time, a particular song impressed me with a new meaning. The song goes something like this —-“Ho, the farmer and the cowman must be friends. The one man likes to push a plough, the other likes to chase a cow, but that’s no reason why they can’t be friends”. The lyrics of this songs deals with the struggle between farmers and ranchers. Oklahoma’s story was derived from the lyrical play set at the turn-of-the-century in the Southwest called Green Grow the Lilacs. It was a battle for turf rights, The lyrics continues—“I’d like to say a word for the farmer: He come out west and made a lot of changes, he come out west and built a lot of fences, and built ‘em right across our cattle ranges.”

So, the song and lyrics The Farmer and The Cowman lends itself to another theme in today’s printer and graphic designer relationship. The printer and designer are also dealing with turf rights. The feeling among many young designers is that the printers are encroaching upon their turf, mainly graphic design. Due to the number of design and production computer programs that are available today and the relative ease of use and reasonable cost, it is tempting for many printers to offer graphic design services to customers. With the availability of this service, the printer can now truly become a one-stop shop. It’s all done here. From the design, to production, and finally, the finished printed piece, such a-deal! Some printers say that,”it is a logical service”, because they will have complete control of the job and it will be done technically correct. No missing typefaces, EPS, and TIFF files, or incorrect trappings and weird computer outputs. With that premise, I have no argument.

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Digital or Offset Printing

For years, it was assumed that digital printing was simply a lower quality process than offset printing.  Customers were often disappointed when they learned their small color print jobs called for digital printing because they wanted the better quality of offset.  However, in today’s digital printing world, this method is becoming more widely used around the country.

Offset printing involves burning plates and a much more involved set up process, which pushes the upfront set up expense, which is often the best choice for high volume printing runs.  Offset printing has a better quality finished work, which is a definite advantage.  Digital printing is a less expensive alternative because it does not require the elaborate initial steps to set up, making it a great choice for low volume printing.

Although offset lithography still has a slightly better quality, digital printing technology has improved a great deal in recent years and the novice will at times find it difficult to distinguish between a digital and offset printed product.  For short run color brochures or trial run postcard marketing test runs digital printing is defiantly the way to go.

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Why Print – Part 3 of 5

Continued from previous post: Part 2 of 5 on Why Print

Buyers seek print.

The success of retail websites means printed catalogs can be relegated to the doornail file. Or so says the conventional wisdom. But, recent research indicates otherwise.

Online consumers who received a printed catalog from any given retailer were nearly twice as likely to make an online purchase at that retailer’s website. The finding comes from a comScore survey based on 6,400 responses from online shoppers.

The reason for the sales windfall: consumers seek print when they’re ready to buy. That’s a fact supported by a 2005 field study by the Direct Marketing Association. Scoring the primary channels for generating orders, the research found that 60% came from printed catalogs, 24% were inspired by retail settings and only 9% arrived via Internet.

The percent of sales by channel also showed print’s pulling power. Paper catalogs accounted for 42% of sales, retail 20%, websites 26% and other channels 12%.

In a 2006 study of newspaper readers sponsored by the Newspaper Association of America, 78% reported that they use newspaper inserts to plan shopping and 76% say that these inserts have helped them save money.

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New Initiatives for Green Printing

ColorFX has always been dedicated to using green initiatives for its paper and printing services.  Environmentally-friendly practices have become critical in today’s business world.  In our planet we work hard to lessen our carbon footprint and help the environment.  According to TAPPI, 300 million metric tons of paper and paperboard are made each year.  Eventually, most of that paper will be thrown away.  We choose to work with materials that can be reused in order to save trees and find healthier environmental alternatives.

In order to reach these goals, we are proud to use vegetable oil–based inks, recycled papers, environmentally safe practices, and a paperless program that reduces the amount of paper waste throughout our production facility.  Our inks are designed to offer the best performance on offset presses with excellent color strength and Roller stability.  Our staff works closely with vendors to find the newest, safest methods of environmental practice within the printing industry.  This includes low UV and VOC aqueous coating, along with chemical-free CTP plates.  The paperless program used in our facility includes recycling excess paper and control of make ready prep sheets by reusing the paper.

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