Everything you need to know about print – an interview with Mark

By 16th November 2021News

Finding a reliable print company can be tricky… choosing a supplier that you can trust and delivers each and every time is important as it will play a part in how successful your marketing campaign will ultimately be. As we are sharing the latest insight on print this month we are interviewing Mark who is one of our long standing partners when it comes to print!

What’s changed in the print world over the years?
Depends really on where your staring point is and when as an individual you became involved in print. The biggest changes came about with the advent of page make up on an Apple Mac during the early 90s. DTP (Desk Top Publishing) as it was known was originally not seen as a threat to the camera-ready artwork, airbrushed flat copy artwork, photo colour prints and transparency route to originate CMYK colour separated film in order to make litho printing plates.

The PC based DTP platforms came and went, and the Mac became more powerful in its ability to handle large file sizes.
The files were imaged direct to film prior to making plates and match print & chromalin were the industry standard proofing systems. Authors corrections at this stage of the process were time consuming and costly. CTP (Computer to Plate) then cut film out of the equation reducing costs and time yet again, there were even presses that imaged the plates
Whilst on the press (DI (Direct Imaging) reduced production times and costs even further.

So, the time taken to get to press (pre-press) and the time to get the press running (make ready) is where we are today.
Litho printing still offers the best quality reproduction and prints large volumes at high speed and quality.

The advent of digital print made a cost-effective viable alternative to litho, particularly on small quantities.
When the numbers required get higher digital becomes less cost effective because it is one paced.
The quality of digital print has improved greatly over the years all be it at a relatively slow and by small increments rate.

Now a lot of print commercially is bought purely on price with little regard for either the quality of the final printed item or the images within it, which are often low res, grabbed from the internet.
Thankfully there are still designers, agencies and end users who want the best quality available in both print quality, design and finishing.
I am fortunate to work with many who still have those requirements – OWB of course being one!

This is why Print is still Powerful.
Nothing beats the tactile feel of print, turning pages, not clicking a mouse, staring at a lit screen. Being able to pick it up and put it down and returning to a particular page quickly and easily.
Enhancing images & emphasising by using different finishes (spot UV, lamination & foiling etc) and that’s before deciding on the numerous paper stock options.
You just can’t achieve this on screen.
I have customers whom over the past few years have been driven by what was deemed the modern & new technological way to go, by launching what would previously have been a printed product/catalogue brochure online.
The feedback from many was that quite a lot of their customers, didn’t like it and requested printed versions. A lot of them resisted, putting it down to people being reluctant to change to new ways and that they would get used it to it eventually.

Sadly, some simply didn’t and stopped buying their products and sold their competitors goods instead who were still providing printed catalogues. Originally as this demand increased, I was producing short run numbers of brochures and catalogues which proved to be costly compared to the higher volumes originally produced.
There has been a large turn round in the numbers who have abandoned the “online” only brochure and gone back to ink on paper.

Direct mail campaigns are also seeing a resurgence in popularity. So many email campaigns simply don’t get read, go to junk, and are deleted immediately. If something drops through your letterbox you have to pick it up, if you’re like me I always scan through them, something may take my eye.

What are your expectations for the future of print?
Whilst the demand for print has decreased over the last few years and COVID has taken its toll,
things are slowly getting back to some kind of normal with many companies realising the importance of marketing and the part that an impressive high quality, well designed piece of print can be.

As Mark has highlighted there are lots of opportunities to create print marketing collateral that will make you stand out from the competition. If you are looking to create a marketing campaign that works for your business, get in touch with OWB today.