Whether you are a business owner looking to get some flyers or business cards made, or an individual planning for a stag do, hen night, or some other party where you would want personalized gear, there are many reasons that someone might seek out a printing service in London.
Printing is a complex industry, and skilled printers are always in demand. Unfortunately, it is relatively easy to buy some equipment and call yourself a printer, which means that there are a lot of lower quality, less reputable printers out there that provide disappointing end products. If you want to make sure that what you’re buying will look good and last a long time then you should ask some questions before you place your order.
Paper and Processes
A good printer will be able to explain to you the different options available, and even provide you with samples of different weights of paper, and different finishes. Do you want coated or uncoated paper? If it is coated, do you want gloss, matte, dull or satin? If you opt for uncoated paper, do you want to be laid or linen?
These choices matter, particularly if you are getting a detailed print done in full colour. Coated papers tend to have more vivid colours, but they are not suitable for writing on. Many people who are buying business cards will opt for an uncoated, heavy stock so that people can easily write notes on the back of the business card. A good printing company will tell you the benefits and downsides of each type of paper, and recommend the best printing (and, if necessary, binding) options for your needs.
If you’re getting garments printed then you will want to make sure that the garment is fit for purpose. The most common methods are screen printing, sublimation printing, and direct to garment printing.
Screen printing and direct to garment printing are the cheapest methods to use, but the garments that you get printed with these methods will not hold the design for long. With these methods, the design is ‘printed on top of’ the fibres, so they might crack or peel with repeated washing.
Sublimation printing is superior, because the design is, in effect, soaking into the garment, which creates a stronger bond between the ink and the individual fibres. Sublimation printed garments should survive far more washes without fading or peeling and they look better too because the design looks like it is a part of the garment itself.
Bulk Orders vs One-Offs
You can often get high-quality sublimation printing and even book printing and binding services for affordable prices when you are placing a large order. Pricing for smaller orders can be much higher because of the requirements to configure the equipment, clean the lines, etc.
Your best bet for a small order may be a high-street print shop. Before you buy from one, however, it is a good idea to call into the store and ask them for advice, and also ask to see some examples of their work. You should be able to tell at a glance whether they can handle the job you have in mind.