Print and Production: Controlling Print Costs
6. Facilitate the Process
Optimize design by considering all the processes the printed piece will undergo—some layouts that work well on press are a challenge for personalization or folding.
Think about all the components that will be part of the mailing. Are you adding a plastic or paper card? Will it be loose or affixed? Does the package include a Post-It Note? If a lift note or buckslip will be included, can it be printed as part of the letter to slit and nest?
When using an envelope package, be sure all of the components can easily be inserted in the envelope. Perfect printing can be very costly if your lettershop charges a penalty because a component requires special treatment to be inserted. This may result in a surcharge for friction feeding or machine slow-downs, and no one appreciates unexpected costs.
7. Simplify Versions
If the printed component has multiple versions, think about simplifying version changes. With litho print, don't change all four-color process plates. Instead, limit changes to a black plate wherever possible. Another option that may be less expensive is adding a fifth color for version changes, as opposed to making changes to four-color process print.
Use laser or inkjet personalization for your black text by limiting variability to the personalization so you can use one, or just a few, base "shells."
If full-variability is a requirement, investigate full-color, continuous inkjet printing. Like four-color flexo, the technology has improved dramatically and quality restrictions have largely evaporated.
Again, it's important to stay on the same page with your suppliers. Review paper options and design concepts to ensure you understand how to optimize the technology available.
8. Look Beyond Print
Print is only part of the recipe. Evaluate opportunities to save money on finishing, shipping and mailing, too.