By Kay Wilt
In the past, variable color printing for direct mail and other print was only available on slower, more expensive sheetfed digital presses which were impractical for high volume production. Today the latest generation of high-speed roll-to-roll inkjet presses produce incredible quality, reduce time into the mail, and production costs are comparable to traditional methods. This technology is changing the entire print and direct mail industry.
Take a look at our video on Color Inkjet Frequently Asked Questions for answers and information on why direct marketers should look more closely at this production method for their direct mail programs.
Here is a summary of the information included in the video:
- How is color inkjet production different than traditional methods? Large volume direct mail has traditionally been produced in two steps. First preprinted shells are printed on an offset press, then the personalized and variable copy is laser printed on the forms in black. With color inkjet, the color images and variable text are printed in one process, allowing customization of ALL elements on the direct mail form.
- How can a production method like color inkjet provide postal savings for direct mail programs? Programs with multiple versions or test packages can be mail sorted and produced together versus multiple smaller files. This results in a higher concentration of mail pieces going to each postal distribution facility and lower postage rates. For large direct mail programs, companies can save millions of dollars a year!
- What is the quality of color inkjet? For most direct mail forms, the quality of color inkjet is comparable to traditional offset print and black laser. The amount of ink coverage, ink colors, paper, and speed of the press all factor into the quality achieved. We are testing new papers and determining how to best obtain the quality each project requires at the lowest possible cost.
- How does color inkjet production affect the production schedule? New color inkjet presses are able to print faster and at a better quality. By eliminating the offset printing step and with faster running speeds, schedules are shortened, getting mail in-home quicker.
In our Color Inkjet Frequently Asked Questions Video Bob Arkema and Andrew Henkel discuss these questions and others. If you would like to see your direct mail letter or form printed on a color inkjet press to compare the quality to your current forms, we’ll print a sample of your form on our color inkjet press. See more information at J&Q’s Inkjet Free Offer page.