Tips for Choosing the Best Poster Printing Service

A guest post from one of our US people

Tips for Choosing the Best Poster Printing Service

Whether for personal or commercial use, choosing the right company to print your poster can be difficult. After all, the difference in price, quality, and turnaround times can vary widely – especially if you are getting posters printed in bulk. One minor error can mean that an entire batch is unusable, which is why it just makes sense to get the job done right the first time. Here are some tips to help you to choose the right poster printing service for your needs.

Do Some Research

The Internet is a powerful tool for learning about businesses. Customers can easily write about their experiences – good or bad. Search for commercial printers in your area, and read what past customers have to say. While your experiences may differ, you can logically assume that a printing company with numerous complaints is a red flag. You can also view each company’s website, and check to see if they have the skills, equipment, and everything else needed to complete your order successfully.

Talk to the Employees

While online research is helpful, there is no substitute for speaking to a human being. If you are not able to go to a physical store location, pick up your phone and make some calls. Tell the employee exactly what you need, and listen to what they have to say. Keep a pen and paper handy to write down relevant information, such as turnaround times, quality options, size options, and other important factors. This allows you to compare and contrast them on your own time. This human interaction can also provide insight as to whether or not you feel comfortable working with that company.

Ask About Capabilities and Pricing

Some poster printing companies are better than others. If you need a large, glossy poster with many different colors and shades, that tiny shop on the corner may not be the best choice. You want to be positive that the company you choose has the equipment to print posters that look their absolute best. You may have to pay more for higher quality, so compare prices related to your options to decide the best course of action. You may find that you are able to pay significantly less for a negligible difference in quality.

Ask About Turnaround Times

If you need your posters completed within a certain time frame, it is essential that you discuss it with the company beforehand. Never assume that a job will be done in time, even if you feel like you have plenty of time to spare. Tell the printing company exactly when your deadline is, and get a guarantee that the posters will be completed. It is possible that a large order could come in and back things up, so make sure that your posters are going to have priority regardless.

Take Your Time

It may not matter if this is just a one-time job, but having a good printing company in your Rolodex is certainly valuable, especially for corporate use. Choosing the wrong printing company could cost your business substantial amounts of money every year if you are not careful. The initial legwork may seem tedious, but in the long run you are investing in your company’s future. Take the time to find a printing company that you trust completely. There are plenty of online printing companies, so don’t feel limited just to stores in your area. Make the right choice the first time.

Trust Your Instincts

While you should definitely keep track of the technical aspects of each company, sometimes you just need to choose the business that just feels right. Some printing companies go above and beyond to meet the needs of their employees, and those are the types of businesses you want to support. If something feels even slightly off, you should continue your search. You should not base your decision on instinct alone, but you need to feel confident in the printing company – especially if you plan on working with them again.

Start Looking Today

While contacting multiple companies may seem like a daunting task, you should only have to do it once. Next time you need to have something printed, you simply place your order and that is that. Ask other local businesses about where they get their posters printed. Ask for recommendations online. A strong recommendation from someone you trust can save you a lot of time. If you’re truly feeling ambitious and want to maintain full control over the finished product, you can even print your own posters and marketing materials using inks and screen printing kits from Wicked Printing Stuff.

Remember, choosing the right printing company is worth the time and effort, so do it right the first time.

Using CorelDRAW in Screen Printing

One of our industry partners tells us about using CorelDraw to get your designs ready for screen printing.

With CorelDRAW’s support of over 100 file formats for import and export, it’s child’s play to import vector graphics from many sources and edit them ready for screen printing. A large library of industry-standard colour palettes (spot and process), allows you to choose the exact colour you need for the elements of your design. The softproofing features makes it possible to proof the colour output on various media in advance. Raster images of logos and other simple designs can also be imported and converted into editable vector graphics using the in-built Corel PowerTRACE feature enabling you go from bitmap to vector in literally seconds.

These screen shots show exactly how it works
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Federation of Screen Printing Associations (FESPA.) an interview with Peter Kiddell

FESPA UK ASSOCIATION large

Wicked Printing Stuff is a member of Fespa and director Peter Kiddell  gave us an interview explaining what the organisation does and why screen printers should join. Thanks Peter and we love your most embarassing moment, you should get that picture on a t-shirt!

 

Original Minutes

Original Minutes

What is FESPA and when was it founded.
The FESPA UK Association was founded in 1934 as The Association of Display Producers and Silk Screen Printers. The term Silk Screen was correct at the time as the mesh was woven natural silk thread. In later years our name changed first to the Screen Printing Association (SPA) and then the Digital and Screen Printing Association (DSPA), next PRISM a mistake! Finally The FESPA UK Association.

FESPA Limited started as the Federation of Screen Printing Associations (FESPA.) It was formed in 1962 by 8 European Screen printing Associations of which one was the SPA. We now have 37 Associations throughout the world who work together in furthering the printing processes. FESPA Limited is owned by the Associations and through its ”Profit for a Purpose” initiative puts money  back into the industry through the Associations.

FESPA Limited organises exhibitions and events globally.

What does it do
The FESPA UK Association supports printers and suppliers to the industry in the UK and has done so for the past 81 years. It has a deep understanding of the market and the processes used in the wide format, industrial, textile and specialist printing industries. It runs networking events, conferences and provides a range of business support specifically for the industry. Screen printing is its core competence with expertise available stretching back 60 years. We have specialists who are recognised industry leading experts who give support to members.

Why should a screen printing company join FESPA
The best investment they would ever make in knowledge provision and support. We know stuff and lots of people, and we understand the market. Members like Wicked Printing are vital in developing the screen printing process. Using the FESPA UK logo and link on their website and communications adds credibility to members.

Our links with Associations throughout the world can be vital in developing a business.

What is FESPA UK’s view of the current UK market
Very positive, work is coming back from overseas. The major suppliers consider the UK as the most vibrant market in Europe. Profit margins are moving back to pre-recession levels.

peter kiddell (Medium)

Peter Kiddell

 

What do you do at Fespa UK?:
I have a great team of people who between us work our socks off developing services for members, providing technical support (if we don’t know we know somebody who does.)  Liaising with our members, FESPA Limited, and other associations. Currently we are rebuilding our website and enhancing its content for members. Our Textile Printing Now Conference on 6th and 7th of October is well into its planning stage. With more than 40 years in the business I have screwed up many a time but learned from those mistakes. I hope I can help those starting out to avoid the pitfalls.

What is your favourite t-shirt slogan
Just Do It!!

Most embarrassing moment:
When I came across a very scary picture of yours truly in a gold lame thong at Junction 38 on the M1, (Not a pretty sight.) I was on my way to the office, ‘twas a special birthday. I have a vague recollection of the picture being taken by a “friend” at a particularly amusing party.

DecoNetwork

blog_dn7We came across DecoNetwork at a show and were interested in their services and thought it might be of interest to our clients

DecoNetwork was born out of our passion to help the custom decoration industry grow into a new era. We envision this new era to be a global network of decorators who deliver personalized goods with no minimum quantity yet profitable to produce and deliver.

We call this the new world of ‘mass personalization’.

We are pioneers, a fusion between a group of people with over 100 years of custom decoration industry experience and another group of top technology innovators who get excited about solving real ‘brick and mortar’ problems. These are the kind of challenges small and large decorating businesses are dealing with every day.

via Company.

A sneek preview of Blacquer ink

I am going to get more details about this amazing product but here is a a quick preview. Expect the full product launch any day now

The use of inkjet printers to create screen positives is not a new idea. We have all been using this technique for a number of years. However, at Blacquer from  we have developed an ink to specifically target this area. At Blacquer we were looking at various printing technique and one thing that struck us was how many small and medium size screen printers are using OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture) inkjet inks to print film output for screen positive print production.
We have all read the press in recent years about how much OEM inkjet ink costs in articles like this
We decided that there was a gap in the market to create an ink which is directly targeted towards the production of screen positives rather than use an OEM ink to fit around the job. The idea was also that the ink we produce would be available in bulk bottles, so the cost of the ink is dramatically reduced when compared to OEM products.
At Blacquer we have produced a pigment based black ink which has been designed to maximise the blocking of the UV light which is used to initiate the reaction of the screen emulsion. The black pigments we use are the highest quality available on the market and designed specifically for inkjet applications. We have a vast knowledge of how to produce inkjet inks and have used this expertise along with the highest grade raw materials to produce an easy to use product producing spectacular results.
The inks have been designed to work through Epson print engines. We will be developing inks for other printers in the near future, but one step at a time! One of the starting models we recommend costs less than £250, so it is not a large investment if you do not already have a printer in house suitable for this application.
We initially sell the ink in cartridges, but these cartridges are refillable by hand. Therefore, you are paying a reasonable amount for the ink (unlike with OEM cartridges). We have calculated that the cost of ink on an output film with Blacquer ink is around 8 times less than using OEM ink! Think how much this can save over the year.
We are very happy to partner up with Wicked Printing Stuff and proud to have them representing Blacquer ink. We feel the support and knowledge they pass on to their customers is exactly what we need from a partner with this product.

Introducing Action Illustrated

01            Action Illustrated is your reliable source for the most effective digital art available in our corner of the galaxy. We specialise in high quality vector graphics and editing software that allow you to take your designs to the next level. With our system, you can easily design production-ready artwork within a matter of minutes that gets results and impresses your clients.

We are a USA company that has been running for 14 years and we decided after being so successful in the American market that we wanted to try our hand in the European market and so here we are!

We are based in Germany in a town call Ottersweier in Baden-Württemberg, which lies between the Black Forest and The Rheine.

Our collection is the largest in the industry by far with more than 25,000 individual 02pieces of clip art and over 1400 editable templates you can customise and personalise at your leisure.

Our vector graphics can be used for screen printing and that is where Wicked Printing Stuff came along, we met them at a show and bam, a relationship was formed.  Our designs were printed by Pete and his team at shows, to show how great our graphics looked, in both colour and black and white.  We have never looked back.

Our graphics can also be used in sublimation, Direct to Garment, engraving and embroidery as well.

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We also designed an advanced plug-in for CorelDraw x 4 and above called Instant Designer, which is a user-friendly editing software, which has the following options:

06A template browser, which allows you to easily search through all the Action Illustrated artwork volumes by keyword in CorelDraw.

A template editor, which includes a text editor that changes the text while maintaining the curves and outlines and you are able to change the font.
It also allows you to change the template artwork, while keeping the size and placement and add additional artwork.
Last but not least it allows you to manager the colour separation/colour reduction in your template, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

It has 203 Product blanks for you to show your customer what the finished image looks like on a T-shirt, baseball hat, bag, sweat shirts etc.

We also cater for the embroidery market with the Action Embroidery Library 1, which has 5000 digitalised images in .OFM and .DST format and includes the Melco Sizer software for scaling and colouring files and printable .PDF’s to create your own catalogue.

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So if you think that our product is too good to be true, just take a look at some of the designs that one of my customer has done with our vector graphics.

All Images are taken from
Elements of Styles Volumes 1 -4 and
recreated by Simon Garrett from Surefire Print.

So come and take advantage of our vector files which you can edit at will and scale to suit your specific platform. You can turn to our database at any time, find what you need, tailor it and set sail for Success Island. Don’t settle for generic when the outstanding is within reach!

Contact us for an online Demo or more additional information!

Contact:     Michelle Headley
Tel:     +49 (0) 7223 2815 560
Email:    mheadley@actionillustrated.eu
Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Action-Illustrated-EU/200349570104653?fref=ts
Website:      http://www.actionillustrated.co.uk/
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/ActionArtEU

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Introducing Rachel

Feather Fox & Me (Low)Glare Install 015

Wicked Printing Stuff have a number of people that work with them, Racvhel is one of them. We are happy to recommend her courses and she uses our products, she is located in Scotland. www.rachel-elliott.com

 

Anyway here she tells her own story.

EtsyI was born in Surrey, which explains the English accent that throws people who meet me for the first time, as they assume living in Edinburgh would make me Scottish.  I moved here 10 years ago to study my degree in Architectural Glass at the art college and never left, setting up my own glass studio in 2009.  I’ve always been a maker but was drawn to glass after stumbling upon a hot glass studio in New Zealand while I was travelling out there and spending 2 days being absolutely transfixed by the family who worked together blowing and engraving glass.

I learnt screen-printing from another student whilst still at the art college with regular forays to the printed textile department whilst I was there.  So when I built my studio, I knew I wanted it to be equipped for the process, even though space is a big constraint and glass kit still takes priority, so I have a mini screen wash out tank and still use the trusty halogen on a clothes rail I bought from Wicked nearly 7 years ago!Collage

I print with a variety of kiln-fired enamels as well as raw glass powder through the screens and occasionally PVA glue to make a resist for sandblasting.  Up until the printing part, the process is identical to most other mediums, so I use the same emulsion, screens, coating trough, squeegees as textile and paper printers and all of which I get from Wicked.

A couple of years ago, I was asked by another glass artist up here if I would teach her screen-printing, not only the print part but also the whole process from coating to stripping (the screens!) so I formulated a whistle stop one day class which basically covered all the technical stages and still allows for students to send me their images to expose on the day.

Since then I’ve taught hundreds of people in my studio here in Edinburgh as well as a couple of classes in other people’s glass workshops around the country.  Most of them have gone on to equip themselves and incorporate screen printing into their designs, which I’m really proud to have assisted in.

The thing I love about printing onto glass is the density of colour you can achieve yet still have a completely transparent base.  It’s also never going to fade, so as an archival piece, it’s going to look the same in a century as it does now.

Honey Bear Personalised Hare, Lifestyle (Birthday), Rachel Elliott Glassworks 2014. Low Res Popcorn Hog

Some examples of her work, more on her website www.rachel-elliott.com

 

 

 

 

If you use our products and have a story to tell we would love to hear from you with examples of your work. We are happy to include links to your website.

People of Print a great screen print resource

Marcroy
One of the great resources about screen printing on the internet is the website People of Print. Marcroy tells us all about the company.

 

People of Print was established by Marcroy Smith in 2008, originally developed as an online creative database with the sole purpose to inspire. Since then, People of Print has been pushed in many interesting and exciting directions, with a rapidly growing online & offline network of print professionals and creatives.

Recognising the nature of print as a core process in the creative industries, People of Print has become one of the world’s largest online communities with a carefully selected directory of creatives working with the tangible medium of print. We constantly receive submissions from artists, studios and companies wanting to be published on People of Print, thus it has become a prestigious platform on which to be mentioned and to get noticed by a global audience.

People of Print is as a daily source of inspiration for creatives whereby we uncover and share the work of the world’s most talented designers, illustrators, textile designers, surface printers, photographers, fashion designers, bookmakers, print studios, shops and exhibitions. This has proven to be a valuable resource for individual professionals, universities and numerous established design studios.

They work collaboratively with anyone they can, including solo artists, studios, shops, agencies and collectives in order to develop a global community in the world of print. Their role in bringing creatives together has seen us expanding into live commercial print events for notable corporate clients and cultural institutions. They also deliver educational print workshops teaching the processes of screen printing, letterpress, and linocuts amongst other print methods. Whilst print is their main focus, they do explore other creative processes.

The People of Print Department Store (www.department.store.co) is a curated selection of design-based products from various different vendors. They offer affordable selling fees and commission for their vendors, and share their products with their large online global audience.

People of Print’s bespoke events have acted a showcase for print and a demonstration of the power of the network to bring together creatives from all over the world to collaborate on high quality, professional and fun events. Clients include V&A Museum, Design Museum, Levi’s, Ministry of Sound, MasterCard, vInspired and various charities and Fairtrade companies.

Thank you Marcroy