Home printers have never been cheaper or more sophisticated. A lot of people are now printing their own photos at home with absolutely no problem. The convenience of being able to achieve higher quality prints at home – without having to go to a print shop or use an online printing service – is a positive thing for countless homeowners and business owners.
Home printing does have its drawbacks and limitations, however. People are often baffled when they need to print to the edge of the page, for example. And if you’re printing a lot, you’ll start to notice how much money you’re spending on new color cartridges. Also, home printers are generally very slow. It’s perfect for one or two colored documents or photos – but when you start talking about volume and speed, DIY (as inexpensive and capable as the machines may be) starts to become less attractive as an option.
So what are the qualities that define a true professional printer, and what’s the best case to be made for outsourcing your larger, more important printing projects to the professionals?
The first thing is quality. How are professional printers consistently able to achieve a noticeably higher quality in their printing, compared to small home printers? Equipment is a big one. Professional printers have invested serious money in professional, industrial-grade printers and cartridges. These machines allow vibrant, razor-sharp printing all the way to the edge of the page (using special cutting techniques), and the results are easily distinguished from amateur or DIY printing projects.
The second important thing is speed and reliability. Professional printing projects are often happening on a tight timeframe, and delays can be costly. The pros can produce big and fast, without compromising quality. If you’ve got a schedule that needs to be kept, and you need results that rise above the rest, professional printing is a surprisingly great value – assuming you’re working with a fair and reputable printer.
Finally, there’s the service aspect of professional printing. When you outsource a project to a printing professional, you’re looking for more than just an end result. You’re looking for a smooth and productive process from start to finish, with a strong element of service. Whether you need help conceptualizing or finalizing your messaging or design plans – or whether you simply need a partner to execute your printing project to perfection – the service component in professional printing should never be lacking.
How to find a printing company you can rely on
There are a lot of printing companies out there, from brick-and-mortar businesses who specialize in direct mail to online services that allow you to place your order immediately using an upload system and a virtual shopping cart. But if it’s professional and reliable results you want, your project should only be in the hands of the most reputable printer. These are often the companies that have been around the longest and have the most updated equipment and offices. Most importantly, the best companies are usually the ones that have established the best reputations in the community.