When you’re printing for your business, print quality is about more than just a good-looking picture. It’s about presenting your business in the best possible light.
So before you place an order, do yourself a favor. Learn what drags your print quality down–and what you can do to bolster it.
Here’s what business owners need to know to get the best result every time.
What Affects Print Quality?
Print quality is the quality of the printout, i.e. how crisp the image is, how vibrant the colors are, and so on.
This is mostly measured as DPI, or dots per inch. All printers work by applying dots of ink–inkjets use nozzles to spray tiny drops of wet ink, while laser printers melt dots of toner on the paper. You can think of these dots like pixels on a computer screen–the more dots, the higher the print quality.
Printers can place dots in a variety of shapes, sizes, and intensities. Some can even optimize DPI during a print job. The basic principle is simple: the higher the DPI, the better the printer can mimic the number of pixels on your computer screen.
That said, DPI combines with other elements to create a good or bad print. Other factors that improve print quality include:
- Paper quality
- Ink quality
- Printer settings
- Use of color on the page
- Performance of the nozzles/lasers
You can have a high DPI, but if you’re using the wrong paper for the job, the print won’t turn out well. This applies regardless of whether you print it yourself or hire a commercial printing service.
How to Improve Your Print Quality
Much like a great recipe or a great painting, the best print quality comes from all the best components. So whether you’re outsourcing your print job or doing it in-house, it pays to invest in the right components. Here are three ways to boost your print quality–and why they work.
Not all paper is created equal. You can spend extra for a high-DPI printer, but if you use cheap paper, you’re risking dull colors and ink bleed. Similarly, if you print your product on the wrong paper, it won’t take the ink the way you intended.
Regular inkjet paper works for day-to-day printing jobs–printing a simple document, for example. But different print projects call for different paper.
Paper is generally broken into two types: coated and uncoated. This changes the paper’s feel, texture, and durability, which changes how it holds ink and how the final product turns out.
Coated paper has a light layer of clay on the surface to sharpen details. Uncoated paper does not have that layer, which makes it more absorbent than coated paper.
Coated paper is best for:
Uncoated paper is best for:
Then there’s the paper weight. Basically, the heavier the paper, the thicker the sheet. Regular printer paper is one of the lightest, while business card cardstock is among the heaviest.
If you cook with bad ingredients, you get bad results. The same applies to printer cartridges–cheap cartridges mean a lower print quality.
This doesn’t matter much when you’re using basic black, but for richer, deeper colors (like metallics) the result shows right away. If you need to use fancier colors, it’s worth investing in better ink–or paying a commercial printer who has easy access to high-quality ink.
Finally, don’t neglect your printer resolution. Put another way, if you need a higher resolution, it may be time to pay extra for the pros.
For your average business document (a letter, for example), 300 dpi looks quite nice. Boost it to 600 dpi if you need a handout to impress your board members. If you’re a photographer, 1200 dpi is average.
Those specs are within reach of most printers on the market, though some are specially designed for certain tasks. A photo printer, for example, is designed to handle higher dpi counts without batting an eye.
If your printer settings don’t have a high enough dpi to come clear, it’s time to call in the professionals.
Looking for a High-Quality Print Every Time?
If you need to impress, you can’t afford to compromise on print quality. So why settle for anything less than the best?
Las Vegas Color Graphics has been the leading integrated printing and mailing service provider in the Las Vegas area for over 30 years.
So if you’re ready for print quality that can’t be beat, paired with standout customer service and great technology, click here to request your printing quote today.