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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pros and Cons of Commercial Printing

As a commercial printing service, we would love to say that there aren't any cons to commercial printing. To do so would be dishonest. At the same time there are some pros that every business needs to consider as well. To help you make the best decision for your business, let's look at the cons of working with a commercial printer.

Cons of Commercial Printing:
Even when a printer offers next-day, and even same-day service, it's not quite the same as being able to print a project out on demand. Printing something on your own printer puts the timing of print work in your control. You don't have to plan ahead. When you work with a commercial printer, you may need to book your project weeks in advance.

Another advantage of printing a project in-house is the ability to see what the finished material will look like instantly.  You don't have to wait to see how well your PDF converts to hard copy.
One of the other cons of commercial printing is the minimum print runs most commercial printers require. Small start-ups can find these minimum a major obstacle because of pricing.

Pros of Commercial Printing:
One of the major pros of turning to a commercial printer for your marketing materials is the reduced cost over printing your materials yourself. In most cases, once you've used up one laser cartridge, you might as well have hired a commercial printer for the job. Once you add up the cost of paper, electricity, cartridge and wages, the printer will save you money. Commercial printers today are taking on smaller projects than they once did because new technologies make printing smaller print jobs less inefficient than it once was.

Another pro is durability. Inkjet printers usually deliver water-soluble print jobs. A commercial printer only uses water-proof inks, so your printed materials do not run when they get wet.

No one can say that in-house printing is very green either. Even if you refill ink cartridges, the quality of the final printed material is rarely up to professional standards because the inks aren't permanent. In-house color laser printers may print great looking images, but they aren't green. Many commercial printers now offer eco-friendly inks that are both water-proof and solvent free.

Commercial printers also have paper types that aren't available at your local office supply store. This gives you many more options for how your printed materials look. Commercial printers are also able to leverage many different size options with far less paper waste. You can look at sizes other than 4x6, 8-1/2x11 and 11x17. A commercial printer can produce posters and banners in a range of sizes and on a range of materials.

Another advantage you'll gain by turning to a commercial printer is the option to have the printer do your design work for you. This sets your business free from having someone in-house with design abilities. For a small business, this can add up to real savings.

When you consider the balance between the pros and cons, you will find that in-house printing is best for retaining hard copies of correspondence and communications that stay within the business. Otherwise, even small businesses can benefit by turning to a commercial printer.

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