ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Business and Employment»
  • Advertising

Print Your Own Labels and Fliers

Updated on December 8, 2011

Advanced Technologies are bringing the complications of printing into an easy and affordable option for small-run jobs. Desktop computers that can do complicated tasks and work with photos are more user-friendly, and are taking on a feasible reality. High-quality and “acceptable-quality” printers are easily available to the novice and home-office worker. High grade and coated papers are available in small quantities at office-supply or paper stores. These and automation are helping to make small-run jobs affordable.

Long-run printing is usually done on metal plates, which requires several significant steps to accomplish: First, a designer has to plan how the piece is to look based on your company and your market. Then a graphic artist pulls research, specifications and instructions into one piece by typing text and creating or finding the artwork and creating a design, then printing it to proofing paper for Quality Control. What follows is a proofing process if the customer chooses. When the image is ready and approved, it is put through a process called “Preflight.” This assures that the finished product will not have problems such as a bad reading on a font, or misinterpreted color usage. Because there are so many different computers and applications that can go toward the realization of one product, anything can easily go wrong when the art is processed by another type of computer. Preflight takes care of that problem.

Next, the image is rasterized and turned into dots so that it will go onto a plate - and then onto paper - in well-defined patterns. A plate is made, and put onto the press. Paper has to be cut and/or loaded into the press, its thickness measured to assure there won’t be double sheets in one pass. Ink color is mixed either manually, or by using different plates on the same press. Its flow is adjusted, based on ink coverage desired. A water/alcohol liquid has to be applied in sync with the ink to assure proper ink repulsion on non-printing areas of the plate. Registration of multiple images or colors is necessary before the full run is underway. Often, humidity in the air and temperature variations require compensation of varying types by the pressman. Afterwards, the ink has to be cleaned out of the ink fonts, and rollers and machine parts have to be cleaned, serviced and oiled.

Folding and cutting and sorting come next, depending on the type of job. After that, packaging and labeling. What I’m saying in these last three paragraphs, is that set-up costs in offset printing necessitate a long-run or high volume printing in order for each piece to be cost-effective. If someone wanted 50 brochures that are run offset, each brochure could cost between three and six dollars. But if 2,000 were ordered, then each brochure would cost only pennies. When I was an offset printer, someone once asked me if I could get them 300 fliers in a hurry, and asked how long it would take. I told him, “Three hours.” He then asked, “How about just 20, for now?” I then answered, “Two hours and 55 minutes.”

Getting back to the modern world: Technology has reached the point of being able to help us to do low-volume work at a reasonable cost. Offset is still the way to go, especially for high-run products, but the time may soon come when “Digital Printing” and other modern printing methods will be competitive.

Meanwhile, someone who wants to start a business with minimal capital can take advantage of the new technology available. If a box with a label is needed, there’s no need to order 1,000 printed boxes from a box-printing company; you can buy boxes at a paper store or a restaurant supply company that are scored, but not folded, and then buy labels that will fit in your printer. Nice designs can be printed on many different types and sizes of labels, and placed on the boxes. A wide variety of pre-printed stickers can be purchased for added decoration and promotion, like the golden “Home Made Candies” starburst on the candy box pictured above.

Also, the innovation of “print on demand” publishing utilizes automation and minimal human involvement. Because I formatted my own book and designed its cover, I was able to buy two or three perfect-bound books, complete with a glossy cover for about 12 dollars each. In other words, they looked just as good and professional as any other paperback you see from offset publishers. In my case, I bought a bar code, which costs extra, but the investment was still very affordable. Just do an internet search using “print on demand,” and you’ll find several places that will help you.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • SamboRambo profile image
      Author

      Samuel E. Richardson 7 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

      Thank you, Brina & Jeff. I see you are quite the bindery man, Jeff. I've done a lot of that, too, but not extensively, like you.

    • profile image

      Jeff_McRitchie 7 years ago

      This is a great overview of the printing process. It's very informative. Good job!

    • Brinafr3sh profile image

      Brinafr3sh 7 years ago from West Coast, United States

      Nice article, I make my own flyers, brochures, and mailing tags. But I think it's real cool that you designed your own book covers. That inspirational.

      (useful, vote up)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)