Custom Printing: How to Get the Photo Quality Results that your Competitors Have

06-23-2006 5:56 pm

Your competitors’ custom printing projects have it - their marketing materials are vibrant, photo quality works of art. Even your smaller competitors with smaller marketing budgets have it. Their presentation folders and brochures, even their business cards are photo-sharp. How can they afford the photo quality results they get? Do they have a better marketing team?


Guess what -- they probably just know things you don’t. They know more about emerging photo quality commercial printing than you do.


Can you get the same quality? Sure. But it comes from print vendors you might not expect –and it doesn’t have to cost more. In fact, if you find the right vendors, photo quality custom printing can cost less than traditional color printing.


How do you find these vendors and keep costs in-line? Let’s get up-to-speed on photo-quality printing. Then, I’ll offer a few tips to get you started.


What You Should Know

Photo quality, custom printing is easy to understand. Printing done with a resolution up to photo quality. True Photo Quality printing is what’s giving your competitor the edge. The competitor’s brochures that you envy were not printed at a low resolution and then enhanced with software to look like high resolution printing. No way. Your competitor knows better. Here are five things that your competitors know:  

  1. True photo quality printing is reproduction of actual images
  2. Not all digital printing is true photo quality
  3. Very few print vendors have true photo quality
  4. Lots of print vendors “fake” photo quality
  5. Most photo quality commercial printing is done on a press – not a copier

Photo Quality Printing Can Save Money

So-called photo quality printing of the past was done on digital presses, copiers and printers. These devices often require special toners, papers and press materials. Special materials mean higher costs. Enter the new era of digital presses. They print on almost any substrate and they use commonly available inks. Waterless inks are used in some digital presses which results in better ink hold out.  Using common materials lowers cost. Your competitor has found vendors with these new presses.


Right now, your competitor gets better printing and pays less than you do. Here’s what you can do.


Find a Photo Quality Commercial Printing Partner

Here are some quick tips for finding a photo quality commercial printer.

  1. Search the Web for “photo quality printing companies” – not “photo quality printing companies”
  2. Learn about the presses
  3. Ask the press manufacture for their customer list
  4. Compare the difference of a hard copy proof versus a soft copy proof
  5. Compare pricing – does photo quality cost less or the same?
  6. Talk to photo quality printing press manufacturers, and ask for a list of potential vendors

Use the list above and you’ll find true photo quality print vendors who print in true photo quality output.


Get Free Samples from Vendors

Once you do find a vendor, be sure to ask for samples.  Do you see the difference in quality or more depth? If a vendor won’t give you free samples, move on to the next vendor. And take the photo quality edge away from your competitors.