Understanding file, font and color separation issues is essential for successful commercial printing projects COMMERCIAL printing used to be a scary term for many distributors, who shied away from learning its intricacies as long as margins on business forms were good. But, according to a BFL&S survey conducted in 2004, distributors now report that 21.5 percent of their sales are in commercial printing, and that they have begun to learn the argot of bleeds, trapping, fonts, graphics, tiff, eps, pict, RGB and CMYK. With computers now handling the job of traditional typsetters and graphic artists, "Putting ink on paper is still
Midwest Color Graphics
Short-run products with pop make up a large percentage of the current demand. Things keep getting brighter for commercial printing. A little more than 10 years since the first high-speed digital color presses were launched, commercial printing has managed to cross over a major hump. No longer is digital color an immature technology viable only in controlled market niches; it is now a robust, economical process qualified for the production of many different products. As a result, everyone is ordering commercial printing products—from mom-and-pop pizza shops looking for a new menu to major universities looking to distribute a high-quality course catalog. These days, "short-run"
Short runs get to market faster than ever, thanks to efficient workflows and knowledgeable distributors. Which came first—the customer demand for quick turnaround times or the equipment technology that makes it possible? While the question is debatable, the upshot is clear. Short runs of process color work are a dominant trend in commercial printing. From a few days to as few as 24 hours after proof approval, orders for brochures, postcards, marketing collateral, rack cards, books and booklets in quantities of between 250 and 20,000 pieces are being printed, packed and shipped. Columbus, Kansas-based Midwest Color Graphics advertises typical production schedules of