So you designed and printed a piece with vibrant colors, fantastic resolution, and eye catching designs. However, lots of printed pieces contain these same elements. What makes yours stand out? Finishing options can be a great way to differentiate your product, or simply add to the general utility of it. Here are a few ways we can help!
Die Cutting: Ever wonder how that Christmas card was cut to the exact shape of that snow man, or how that door hanger was actually made to hang? Die cutting allows for unique shapes to be made out of your project.
Perforating: Need it to tear out? Adding a perf can be a great finishing options for items like tickets, invoices, forms and more. This is a good way to simply add to the usefulness of your product.
Numbering: Having a hard time keeping track of everything? Numbering can be a great way to help keep things organized. Jobs like invoices, forms, tickets, and generally just anything where someone else is getting a copy can benefit from numbering.
Drilling: Want your piece to hang around? Yes, that pun was intended. A hole or two in your piece adds to the utility of your item and makes it more likely to be used. This is good for items like tags, calendars, forms meant for binders, and more.
Specialty Inks & Coatings: If you want to draw attention to something in particular or give your piece a very upscale appearance, adding a special coating, varnish, or ink — such as a metallic ink — can be a good way to go. Talk with one of our designers to see how such can be incorporated into your piece.
Foil Stamping: Want an extra pop? Adding a metallic foil is a perfect way to get that exclusive look. This is a good eye-catching option for certificates and general marketing materials that need to look a bit more professional than your competition’s.
Embossing: Ever run your fingers over your computer monitor? We’re betting no, or at least not intentionally. One of print’s benefits is that it engages the tactile sense. This is why cotton paper stock is often used in business settings and why specialty coatings are growing more popular. Having raised lettering or an embossed image further helps in this and increases response rates to your printed materials.
Much of how a printed piece is perceived depends upon how the eye flows over the sheet. Given, one can make use of pointing devices to steer the eye towards important messages (if not sure of what we’re talking about, you may need to speak with one of our designers). But, there are more powerful ways to do this. Folding a piece can be a method to physically ensure your audience only sees the part of your message you want them to see, when you want them to see it. Breaking a message up into panels makes the message easier for an audience to digest and ensures your message is structured in a deliberate fashion.
Yet, folding has benefits beyond how a message is presented. Think of your old road maps. Those things tend to be printed on very large sheets of paper. Would you want to carry around a sheet that large in a cramped car? We’re betting not. A fold, like a tri-fold (letter-fold), half-fold, z‑fold, gate-fold, or quarter-fold, adds to the convenience factor of the final piece.
A final consideration is that folding can really add to the artistic appeal of the final product. For example, we’ve done gate-folded projects where some panels have looked like doors and curtains and when opened up, one then sees the message. Needless to say, it looked really cool. Similar things can be done with your job. So, if you’re brainstorming something, it may be worthwhile to contact us to see how we can help.
While much of a job’s quality depends upon the initial file and design, how it is bound will greatly influence how it is used and how satisfied one will be with the product long-term. Here are a few of the more popular binding methods we use, as well as some of the benefits they entail.
Stapling: This is probably the simplest of methods. It tends to be good for things like work packets. It allows plenty of access for someone to be able to write on the sheets, and is an inexpensive way to produce such materials. However, this is not the most durable method. Keep in mind that the sheets are being held together by a small wire somewhere on the sheet — not exactly a lot of real estate to ensure everything stays together. Hence, it is best saved for jobs that are only likely to be handled a few times.
Saddle Stitching: This method uses a couple of staples through the folded spine of a booklet to hold it together. It is probably the most popular method for items like newsletters, magazines, and programs. This method not only looks pretty good, but is also fairly easy to produce. It offers a fair amount of durability, but keep in mind that, like stapling, only a few wires are holding the piece together, so it’s best suited for jobs that are only going to be handled a limited number of times.
Perfect Binding: Well, it’s called perfect for a reason, right? So it must be pretty good. Producing a square edge, it is arguably the most professional looking method for items like books and magazines. The benefit of having a square edge is that one can print the title of the piece on the edge to allow users to be able to more easily identify it. This finishing method essentially glues the edges of sheets together, so it is a bit more durable than methods like saddle stitching. However, it is nearly impossible to get books bound using this method to lay flat. While perfect binding isn’t exactly perfect, it is a very good, professional, and reasonably durable method.
Spiral, Comb (GBC), & Wire‑o (Duo-wire) Binding: These are what would be considered mechanical binding methods. Such are very good options for short run jobs as there is a limited amount of setup involved. However, it can become somewhat expensive on jobs of larger quantities as the cost of materials are high as compared to other methods and are fairly manual processes. Such methods allow pages to lay flat and offer perhaps the greatest amount of durability. This makes such methods great for pieces that will be handled over and over again, like cookbooks, handbooks, and calendars.
Book Wrapping: So you’ve ordered a bunch of carbonless forms or invoices. How are you going to keep them together? Book wrapping tends to be a popular option. In this, we bind the sheets together at the top or side with heavy duty wires, so there is little chance of pages coming loose. We add a perforation right below the wire to allow a copy to be torn out and given to whomever you please. We also add a cover that “wraps” around the book and can be inserted between your carbonless forms, which keeps your writing from transferring to the next form in the sequence.
Padding: A good finishing option for items like forms and notepads, padding is a handy way to hold sheets together while at the same time allowing you to easily tear sheets off the pad for use.