Excellent print quality – which print shop doesn’t promise that? But what is the high quality of a print product? Experts may like to analyze with a magnifying glass and measuring devices. But here are five criteria that anyone can judge with the naked eye and that play a central role, especially with business cards.
Quality Feature No. 1: Exact and Constant Colors
For business stationery, the company colors simply have to match – every time. They are a central element of every corporate design. And above all, it looks very unprofessional if business cards from several employees of the same company look different just because they were printed at different times.
First of all, the print shop must be able to achieve the color specifications as precisely as possible. If the color is defined as a CMYK value (e.g. 100% yellow and 50% cyan, it can be reproduced very precisely in four-color printing. It is different with special colors such as. B. Orange: Sometimes one or more extra colors are needed.
But only if the result is not a happy coincidence, but can be reliably repeated, is that real quality.
And this repeatability is not a matter of course. Because even the most modern printing processes do not yet work so perfectly that they automatically achieve the same results day in, day out, year in, year out. Even if they work within the standards accepted by the printing industry, look closely to see differences between different production batches. A good business card provider makes sure that he works even more precisely than the standards for other products – e.g. B. Flyer – request. This requires particularly well-adjusted machines – and above all professionals with a critical eye.
So when testing a new business card printer for the company, order more than one type – in separate orders. If the results are very, very similar, that’s a good sign. Are there big deviations? Hands off!
Quality Feature No. 2: Razor-Sharp Text
Business cards often contain very small, fine text. So they are still legible and look elegant, they must be matched with paper in the appropriate resolution. This is not an issue in offset printing, because here the printing plates are exposed with resolutions of 2400 dpi (dots per inch) and more.
It is different in digital printing: Older machines in particular work with lower resolutions – e.g. B. 600 dpi – and often reproduce small letters too bold or slightly frayed. Conversely, poorly printed negative texts tend to run in with poor print quality, ie they are barely legible.
It becomes even more critical when very small fonts in color or in gray are on the card – only the best digital presses of reasonable quality can do that.
Quality Feature No. 3: Rich Black
Interestingly, a special problem in conventional offset printing concerns the simplest of all printing inks: black. While black surfaces and texts on coated – i.e. glossy – paper look very rich, they can go more towards dark gray on underlined natural paper with a rough surface.
This is due to the fact that the color pigments can penetrate deep into the structure of underlined varieties while remaining on the surface on smoother paper. So if black is too little black (and colors are generally not brilliant enough), digital offset printing, as also used by printpeppermint, can be a solution: Here, the color particles are applied to the paper as a kind of wafer-thin film. This film dries in a flash and always remains on the surface even with rough papers. The result:
Quality Feature No. 4: Excellent Photo Printing
Business cards are also increasingly being enriched with photos. B. a symbolic photo according to corporate design or a portrait picture. In both cases it is important that photos are displayed brilliantly. Specifically, this means: fine grids, a wide range of colors, natural colors.
The raw material and prepress are also very important for good photo reproduction. If, for example, employees are to be depicted, roughly resolved passport photos from the personnel database are extremely unsuitable. So definitely invest in professional recordings. When a photographer comes into the company and takes a lot of pictures in one wash, it doesn’t add much to the cost. But even the best photos usually have to be prepared for printing. A professional business card solution should offer both:
Quality Feature No. 5: Precise Color Gradients
If your corporate design contains finely graduated color gradients, high-quality printing is particularly important. Cheap or older digital printing systems also like to bite their teeth on such elements: tears, color shifts and large differences from order to order make a business card look cheap quickly.
Patterns Say More Than Words
Conclusion: The printing process alone does not say much about the expected print quality. Both offset and high-quality, modern (!) Digital printing machines can deliver good results.
It is best to check the quality closely. The printpeppermint sample set shows the print quality of the unique business cards on different types of cardboard. It contains sample cards that show all the quality features discussed in this story – on more than different types of cardboard. So be sure to not only examine the print quality, but also select the optimal paper for company business cards.