A custom print job is a unique printing project for a customer. The term covers a wide range of printed products and also applies to many forms of printing on varying substrates. The most common form of custom printing is produced on paper by digital or offset processes. These products may be books, catalogs, booklets, calendars, magazines, and presentation folders.
Each custom printing job may vary in size, paperweight and finishes, colors used, binding style and special finishes.
Digital Printing and Offset Printing: Which Printing Method Is Good for Custom Printing?
Digital and offset processes are commonly used to produce the majority of custom printing. Several factors influence which process is more suitable for the printing job.
The quantity (run length) is one of the main factors. Generally speaking, digital printing is more suitable for shorter run lengths. It is also more suited to urgent, fast turnaround work and personalization. Offset litho printing requires a longer and more expensive setup. However, for large quantities, the process can be more cost-effective.
Offest litho can also handle a wider range of paper types and weights. Special Pantone colors and finishes such as metallics, varnishing and embossing are also more suited to offset litho.
More Choice of Papers
There is a vast range of papers and boards available for custom printing. This includes coated and uncoated paper stocks as well as different weights and colors.
It is important to select the correct type of paper for any custom printed project. The finish can vary from high gloss art paper to offset and wood-free papers. If a very high standard of image reproduction is required an art paper may be used for example. If the paper needs to be written on by the user, an uncoated stock may be more suitable. It is possible to mix paper styles within a custom printed project. For example, chapters may be separated by a printed tracing paper.
The cost of paper stocks varies hugely as well. This is another important factor when costing a custom print project. https://www.qinprinting.com/paper-options/ for reference.
More Ink Colors
Digital and offset litho print processes use standard CMYK inks and toners. This enables custom print jobs to be produced cost-effectively and quickly. Pantone colors and other special colors are also available, more commonly used with offset litho. The use of these colors allows the client to introduce different design features to make their custom printing stand out. CMYK printing can reproduce a wide range of colors but Pantone colors provide a larger choice and are better suited for some color-critical projects.
Custom Binding Options
Once a custom job has been printed it needs to be finished. This means the job is folded, bound and trimmed to size. There are many options to consider when choosing the best binding method for a custom print job.
Some options are down to cost and design style. Certain custom print jobs are not suitable for some types of binding. For example, you can’t use perfect binding for less than 24 pages. Saddle stitching can only be used up to a certain thickness of the book. Saddle stitching is generally the cheapest option for smaller projects such as booklets and magazines. This method uses metal staples on the spine to bind the folded pages together.
Perfect binding gives a clean finish and a spine which can be used as a design feature. Spiral binding, comb binding, sewn and wire-O binding are other methods available.
Custom printing also offers the option of hardcover binding. This uses a different material from the inner page text sections. Hardcover binding can incorporate many materials such as board, cloths, vinyl, and parchment. It is commonly used in book printing.
To make a custom printing job really stand out, other special processes and techniques are used. Foil stamping is a relief printing method where dried inks or metallic foils are stamped onto a surface. This is normally the cover but can be anywhere in a custom printed project. Embossing and debossing use a metal die to stamp the board or paper to either raise or depress an image or text. Blind embossing is where the technique is used without any ink. Registered embossing is where the die lines up with a printed area.
Die-cutting is where the material is cut to a specific shape. This can be anything from a label to an entire book. It is commonly used for custom printing projects such as presentation folders.
Spot UV is a process that applies a coating to a specific part of a job, for example, the title of the cover of a catalog. It helps to emphasize a part of the job by adding a contrasting finish.
Applying a lamination or coating to all or part of a custom print job serves two purposes. It protects the print from scratching and fingerprints etc. It also improves the finish and looks of the project.
Custom Accessories for Your Book
We can provide other accessories for your products. For example, string tags, magnets, pens, handles, boards, clips, toys and more. Ask us for a full list of other options and accessories available.
Once the custom printed project had been finished we can provide individual packaging. This can include shrink wrapping, plastic bag, and mailbag insertion, individual cartons and boxes.
We can ship printing products to your door by air or by sea. Our air shipment partners are FedEx and DHL. We can ship printing products to a convenient seaport or airport for collection or onward delivery.
We also provide storage and individual dispatch to China and all over the world.