High-Speed Production Inkjet Makes Personalization in Print Possible
Targeting various personas in a personalized fashion is a feat most creatives and marketers think is only possible through digital marketing. The good news is, new advances in printing technologies have made it possible to target different audiences in a customized fashion by using different content and imagery that resonates with each persona in the same print run.
The result: a personalized but tangible expression of your brand that your target spends more time with and finds memorable.
It sounds impossible, but it’s true. High-speed production inkjet printing opens new doors for designers – from building more personal connections with audiences to targeting various personas in one print run at high volumes. However, inkjet printing technology is not the same as offset or toner-based digital printing and requires different design approaches.
If you’re new to using high-speed production inkjet printing, follow these best practices in designing for inkjet printing to ensure your finished project looks as amazing as you envision it.
5 Things to Consider When Designing for a Production Inkjet Project
1. Keep an Open Mind — The guidelines for designing and printing a production inkjet project are not the same as those recommended for offset printing, and the learning curve can be steeper than you might expect. The ink formulation is different, the machines might be unfamiliar, and you may need to use paper that has been treated to get the vivid color and image detail that you desire. Approach your first inkjet project with an open mind, a willingness to experiment with your design and adjust expectations.
2. Shop Around — Think about the intended purpose of your printed piece, and evaluate what’s most important. Is crisp detail essential? Is color matching a must? How long will the piece be used? Is personalization and variable imaging a top priority?
Research printers that offer production inkjet, then set up an appointment to discuss your goals and project with that printer to determine whether inkjet printing technology is a good fit. You can also check samples of similar jobs printed on inkjet machines to determine whether the print quality is right for your project.
3. Consider ink type. There are two types of inkjet inks: dye-based and pigment-based. Results for each type of ink can vary depending on the machine and type of paper used.
In general, dye-based ink is more scratch-resistant because it sinks into the paper, but it’s also less waterfast, resulting in the potential for the ink to run if the printed piece comes in contact with water. If a treated inkjet appears is used, pigment-based ink tends to sit on top of the paper and can appear more vibrant. Pigment-based ink can also be more colorfast than dye-based ink, providing a longer shelf life.
4. Don’t Forget Paper! No matter what print technology you use, paper is still the canvas that brings your creative vision to life. While many high-speed inkjet machines feature a primer for the ink to better adhere to any paper, the results in most cases won’t be acceptable to a creative that’s used to the quality of offset printing. To achieve vivid color, enhanced image detail and decreased mottling, a treated paper made for high-speed production inkjet printing is your best option. Treated inkjet papers are made with the strength to withstand the high speeds of the production process and the rigors associated with post-processing and mailing, assuring the end result allows the recipient to focus on your brand’s message, not a production mishap.
For creatives and marketers that are used to the quality of offset printing, LynxJET® is the brand of paper that will give you the results that best align with your expectations. In addition to superior print quality, LynxJET is available is a wide array of weights all the way up to 9pt, which is close in weight to a 100 lb. cover. Also, it’s available in sheets and rolls, so you can have print quality consistency across various projects and run sizes.
5. Most Important, Talk to Your Printer — Once you’ve chosen the right print provider, schedule a call or visit the facility to discuss project specs as early as possible and learn as much as you can about the high-speed production inkjet process. Share your design and communicate your color-matching requirements, and ask your print provider to share print samples. As with any type of printing, your results with inkjet printing technology will improve if everyone is on the same page from the beginning.