Print and Production: Controlling Print Costs
There was a time when flexo printing could be used only for "low-color, low-resolution" work on uncoated paper stocks. Those limitations are gone. While four-color flexo is probably not yet an option for high-fashion or high-end automotive work, it makes sense for many subjects and substrates, especially those that were previously printed as sheets and converted to envelopes.
Ask your supplier about using four-color flexo for your outer envelopes, and be sure to discuss design and production considerations. It's smart to request samples, too, so you can make the best decision for your project. Saving money on the outer envelope can actually be a very expensive decision if the end product lowers response and, in turn, increases your cost per sale.
4. Litho Roll-to-Convert
If flexo isn't right, consider litho roll-to-convert for envelopes. You can also save on envelope printing and manufacturing (if flexo isn't appropriate for your campaign) by using a litho roll-to-convert workflow rather than traditional litho convert.
Even if you eliminate one cost-saving option as "just not right for this program," don't hesitate to ask for other alternatives. If flexo printing is not the right solution, you can stay committed to your cost consumption diet by changing your workflow to roll-fed, rather than sheet-fed litho print. If your supplier doesn't offer this option, you may want to investigate alternative sources with a broader equipment base.
5. Balance Digital and Offset Printing
Engage your suppliers to ensure the optimal platform is being considered for each and every project. Digital may save you money on some projects, but can add more cost than conventional offset on others.
Cost is not the only factor, of course. It's important to discuss all attributes of the platform with your supplier to ensure factors like speed-to-market, version requirements, paper options and finishing requirements have all been considered.