Printing has been around for thousands of years, but as technology develops, so does print. A lot of people view print as a dying medium, but the fact is that print is actually growing in popularity. With new ways to make your print look even better than before, we have decided to put together a list of the newest print methods to bring your documents into the 21st century.
Plastic & Print
Many people don’t realize that once you move to a thicker plastic like 15mil or 20mil, you can actually print on it. This does require special printing presses, but if you are looking for printing on plastic in your own office, there are also now Heat resistant plastic covers that won’t warp or melt when put through your printer. The finished look will not only delight you, but your clients as well.
Thicker is Better
Copiers are still limited on how thick your sheets of paper can be, but with the new mounting technology, you are no longer limited to their standards. Mounting sheets are simply tissue paper looking sheets that you can put in between 2 sheets of paper to make the document thicker. The mounting sheet is activated once put through a pouch laminator and from then on your sheets are stuck together forever. You can get really creative with this by mounting coloured sheets inside of regular white sheets to add even more interest to an invitation, or business card.
If you wanted to make your print into a magnet, you used to have to go to a specialty shop which had large gluing machines and huge rolls of magnets, but not anymore. You can get magnets which are already cut down and have a pouch attached to them. You simply insert your print into the pouch and run it through a pouch laminator and voila, you now have a customized magnet done on demand with no special equipment or waiting time required.
We had to mention the new foil lamination in this list because it still amazes people that you can add shiny or matte foil to paper without buying dies and a foil stamping machine. The foil sticks to anything on a page that is printed, and it can be as detailed as you like. Print your design using black ink (no point is paying more for coloured ink if it’s going to be covered up anyways), run it through your laminator with the foil roll attached and then you can run it back through the copier to add text, colour or additional designs. Plus, there is even clear foil which looks and feels the same as spot UV coating.
Scratch and Win
Who knew Black ink could be so versatile? In addition to the foil example above, there is also a scratch off laminating film which can be applied to print media to allow you to create your own scratch card. First you print your colourful card including the prize (or try again next time) text. Laminate it with the scratch film, run it back through the copier using black ink over the prize area and then you can either keep the card like that, or apply foil. If you are applying foil, you can even run it through your copier again to print a pattern on the foil itself. It’s amazing the detail you can come up with using just a copier and laminator.
This list would not be complete if we did not include 3D printing. If you can think it, you can print it using a special 3D printer. This method uses plastic filament which is melted and “printed” onto a surface to create your customized 3D object. Although this method does not use the traditional paper and ink, it is still considered printing and as it grows in popularity, we will certainly be seeing it more often encompassed in everyday use.
We hope that you learned something new today and if you are interested in more articles in the DYK series, you can click here.