Benefit from Advances in Print Embellishments Without a Ton of Time, Effort, or Money
You can benefit from the services of a fellow printer in big ways. That was the essence of my last article, which describes why contract printing can be a smart approach to expanding your print capabilities in a low risk way.
Just to recap, I define contract printing as an agreement with another printer where you sell their print services to your own customers.
To understand more about the value of this approach, I thought it would help to focus on the latest developments in niche capabilities like foil printing, lamination, and textured spot UV.
We’re in an exciting new era when it comes to embellishment services like these. But for a range of possible reasons, your company may not be in a position to offer them yourself. Not a problem thanks to contract printing.
But are these new developments really that big of a deal? In a word, absolutely.
More Impressive AND Affordable Than Ever
When you can offer embellishment options like the ones I’m about to describe, you’re not just adding a potential revenue stream. You’re strengthening your reputation as a go-to problem-solver for customers who want to present high-quality, cutting-edge print collateral that can help separate them from competitors.
And by elevating the quality of what they give to their own potential customers (or clients, patrons, or donors), they’re elevating how they’re perceived. The research on this from people like neuroscientist David Eagleman, PhD, and marketing researcher Joann Peck, PhD, is pretty compelling.
What’s really key here is that this new print technology is helping to drive costs down, which makes once-too-pricey options now possible for more customers. Also, these options are ideal for shorter run requests, meaning there’s no need to make giant orders so that it’s “worth it.”
Here’s a quick run-down of the embellishments I’m talking about:
Laminating. Think way beyond menus and library cards. Laminating has evolved to become a remarkable embellishment option in its own right. Your customers can:
- Create mirror and even holographic-like effects.
- Simulate specific textures such as leather, velvet, or linen paper.
- Laminate select parts of a page to draw attention (rather than cover an entire sheet).
- Have a more accessible and cost-effective alternative to specialty papers.
Foil printing. This is another finishing embellishment that’s been around for a while — but is rapidly evolving. A new digital foil process eliminates the need for metal dies, making set up faster and cheaper. Then there’s also the explosion of color foil options.
This new generation of foil possibilities makes it much more affordable for customers to:
- Create an upscale style for business cards, postcards, brochures, posters — any item that showcases luxury products or services
- Underscore specific elements like a name, years of business, or key dates.
- Present ultra-elegant special event materials for things like awards ceremonies, corporate anniversary parties, or invite-only fundraisers.
Textured spot UV coating. For a fraction of the cost of embossing or using specialty papers, this embellishment creates interesting textures for collateral. And as I’ve written about before, research has demonstrated that texture can help make marketing materials more effective.
This option lets customers:
- Create a memorable, multi-sensory experience with their collateral.
- Match a texture with their brand to drive home their identity.
- Use texture to draw attention to specific features of the printed piece.
Truly new possibilities with combination embellishments. As if each of those embellishment options wasn’t cool enough, when combined with one another, the final products are nothing short of astounding.
Think of how a colorful, dazzling fishing lure attracts and excites fish. They can’t resist. That’s how I think of these combination embellishments.
More specifically, adding spot UV texture or foil over a laminated page now gives your customers print collateral pieces that weren’t even possible just a few years ago.
Pictures don’t do these features justice, but just to give you an idea, here are two examples:
What It Takes to Add These Services to Your Capabilities
Offering these embellishments services yourself will certainly involve some significant capital purchases. But the real investment will likely be in time — a lot of it.
First, there’s the time-consuming but necessary research up front. You would want to consider crucial questions like these in a run up to a potential purchase:
- Will the equipment allow cool, compelling print features/products?
- Will those cool, compelling print features/products have practical value for new or current customers?
- Will the equipment make it possible for once cost-prohibitive options to now be cost-effective?
Once you have the new equipment, you would then need to:
- Learn how to run it not just effectively but efficiently (and also work through the bugs that new tech often has).
- Figure out how to price it, not always easy with the sometimes unrealistic prices that the manufacturers suggest.
- Develop a feel for the optimal inventory you need to carry, which can be tricky with niche products.
- Educate not only your direct customers but also agencies and fellow printing companies with whom you partner.
- Develop sales and marketing strategies, as well as actual print samples, to demonstrate the benefits of the capabilities.
Suffice it to say that the above bullets are simplified. But my point is to give you a sense of just how much goes into developing not just a service or product line but an actual expertise.
And now we’ve come full circle with my opening point: If you’re not up to — or interested in — going through the work I’ve just described, contract printing lets you bypass it.
The Time Is Ripe to Expand Your Potential
As we emerge from a tough past year and look ahead to the next decade, maybe each of us should be asking, “What kind of printer do we want to be?”
I know I’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to the exciting developments in the world of print. But that’s the great thing about contract printing: It empowers you to explore those developments and removes a lot of the boundaries to potential growth.
In my next article, I’ll give specific tips for how to wade wisely into the waters of contract printing. In the meantime, I recommend you keep an open mind about the kind of printer you want to be for your customers and start researching the types of new services that could benefit them.
About the Author
Chris Yuhasz is president of POV Solution. Based just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, POV Solution is a community-focused printing company that helps businesses and nonprofits stand out in their offline communications efforts as well as integrate them with multichannel marketing strategies.
Chris Yuhasz founded POV Solution as a basement desktop publishing business 27 years ago in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. POV Solution provides printing services from Cleveland, Ohio, servicing clients coast-to-coast with commercial printing, graphic design and spot UV printing for finishing services.