Go Back

Designers: Never Choose Between Digital and Offset Again



03.02.2023

If you're a graphic designer that creates materials for print, you've learned that variables such as the medium, typography and layout of a product all influence the process of how the design is produced. One of the finishing factors that's typically decided early on in the design process is the printing method (whether your design will be produced using offset or digital printing).

Differences Between Offset and Digital Printing

Both offset and digital printing have their unique benefits and limitations—and the choice of printing method can have a significant impact on the final product. When deciding, designers often take into consideration factors including:

Colour Swatch
  1. Quantity — Generally, digital printing is more cost-effective for short runs and offset printing more cost-effective for long runs.
  2. Color accuracy — Offset printing has historically offered better colour accuracy and consistency, which can be a deciding factor for brands with strict colour-matching standards.
  3. Image quality — In the past, offset printing offered higher image quality and resolution (although digital presses have made strides in recent years).
  4. Customization — Digital printing allows for greater personalization through variable data printing, meaning each print can be unique, whereas offset is preferred for standardized materials.

Weighing these pros and cons has long been a challenge for designers during the print process—but with new innovations in print technology, it's quickly become a problem of the past.

New Innovations: Where Digital Meets Offset

Introducing the HP Indigo 15K Digital Offset Press—a high-end digital printing press designed for commercial printing and packaging applications. This incredible innovation in print technology is marrying the best of both worlds and eliminating the need to choose between digital and offset.

WCD is proud to own the first of its kind in Western Canada, and here's why:

Superior Print Quality

The Indigo 15K uses HP Indigo ElectroInk technology to achieve high print quality, with up to 7-colour printing and a resolution of up to 1600 dpi. This allows for sharp, vibrant and accurate images and text. We love a crisp image!

Wider Substrate Ranges & Inks

The HP Indigo 15K boasts the widest substrate range in the industry, from 70-600 micron media. Now, designers have creative freedom with the ability to print on virtually endless substrates including uncoated, black and coloured, synthetics, metalized materials and more. Plus, imagine the endless possibilities of printing using white, metallic, fluorescent and invisible specialty inks!

Unprecedented Speed

The Indigo 15K is designed for high-volume production (like that of offset), with a top speed of up to 137 pages per minute (ppm) in 4-colour mode, or up to 272 ppm in 2-colour mode. Printing an astonishing 4,600 sheets per hour, you’ll benefit from faster turnaround times so that you can achieve your campaign deadlines with ease.

Streamlined Workflow & Automation

The Indigo 15K is equipped with advanced automation tools to streamline production and reduce downtime, ensuring you get your finished product faster than ever. WCD is leveraging HP's tools including the PrintOS platform, which provides cloud-based management, analytics, and automated colour calibration.

Sustainability-Forward

The Indigo 15K is designed with sustainability in mind, using HP Indigo's "Green Flow" program to reduce waste, energy consumption and carbon footprint. The press uses a water-based ink system, eliminating the need for hazardous chemicals and reducing overall water usage.

Need to see it for yourself?

Take it for a test run! Let us print-proof your latest marketing campaign on the HP Indigo 15K and prove to you the sheer power of the "Yes Press"—the digital press that empowers you to say YES to any request.


03.09.2023

5 Ways to Make Your Next Print Campaign more Impactful! 

Living in the era of digital overload, print marketing has made a significant comeback in recent years. Why? It’s all in the data. Research suggests that print marketing can have both higher recall and conversion rates than digital marketing, and is even more effective when combined with digital tactics as part of an integrated campaign. It’s no wonder 60% of CMOs are advocates for including print marketing in their budgets. But as print campaigns continue to increase in popularity, brand’s need to do more to stand out. By leveraging innovative print design techniques that dazzle, you can ensure your print piece not only gets noticed, but also incites action in your customers. Here are five ways you can make your next print campaign more impactful: Fluorescent & Metallic InksOversized FormatsMetallic Media Unique SubstratesPersonalize It!Print vs. Digital Design: Understanding the Differences > 1) Fluorescent & Metallic Inks Using a bright fluorescent or shimmery metallic ink in your print campaign is sure to catch your customer’s eye. Because fluorescent inks are semi transparent compared to conventional pigments, they should be printed on bright or white backgrounds to really pop on the page. Use fluorescence as an accent to draw attention to key features on your print piece, such as your audience’s call to action. Metallic ink, on the other hand, is a great alternative to traditional foil stamping. The colour options with metallic ink are endless, because it’s achieved by mixing ink with gold or silver metallic particles. We can already visualize these effects coming to life on vivid event materials, high-end menus, premium direct mailers and more! 2) Oversized Formats As the saying goes—go big or go home! Because paper is tangible and felt with our hands, opting for an oversized print piece is a sure way to stand out from your competitors. Using unique folding and finishing techniques, you can give your piece a compact appearance (good for functional purposes like mailing) that then expands and unfolds into a creative masterpiece. And with our new HP Indigo 15K, you can print bigger and better than ever with flat sizes up to 29.5 x 20.81”! 3) Metallic Media Metallic inks are one thing… but have you ever printed on metallic paper? Perfect for giving your print campaign a premium look and feel, metallic media is often used for event materials like menus, invitations, table place cards and more. The unique texture and sheen just feels high-end between your fingertips. Remember to always use darker colours for text when printing on metallics to ensure high contrast and readability. 4) Unique Substrates Simply put, a substrate is the material you’re printing on (like paper, for instance). With new and innovative print technology, you can now print small format campaigns on substrates ranging from canvas to wood, plastic, synthetic, metal and more! In fact, our brand new HP Indigo 15K has the widest substrate range in the industry with the ability to print on materials ranging from 70-600 micron media. The creative possibilities are virtually endless. 5) Personalize It! Are you more likely to throw out the flyers in your mailbox that aren’t personally addressed to you? Statistics show that you are—and 63% of marketers agree personalization increases customer interactions and conversion rates. With digital printing, it’s easy to personalize your print marketing campaigns to each recipient in a single print run. Using data and segmentation, you can personalize things like: Customer names Address informationImagesCopy and keywords Links and calls to action Colours, and so on! People will always pay closer attention to marketing materials that are curated specially to their needs and desires. That goes for print, too! Need some creative inspiration? Ask our Creative Services team! With expertise in designing for print, our in-house design agency is here to help you ideate and execute on print campaigns that will connect with and covert your customers.

Read more

03.02.2023

Print Design vs. Digital Design: Understanding the Differences

Just decades ago, graphic designers spent their days producing print layouts for products like posters, books and brochures. But in today’s digital world, the realm of graphic design is expansive and ever-evolving. Although they share the same basic principles, print design and digital design each require a unique skill set and approach. Let’s dive into some of their key differences. What is Print Design? Print design is the artful creation of digital files that will eventually be produced as physical media. You can find print designers developing creative for products like: MagazinesBooksNewspapersBrochuresFlyersBusiness CardsBillboards Packaging, and more Dive into digital printing > What is Digital Design? Digital design refers to the creation of designs intended for publishing across digital media. The world of digital design may include: Digital advertisements WebsitesSocial media assetsApps, and more The Core Differences Between Digital and Print Design Whether designing for print or digital, creative designers need to take into consideration these core differences before diving in: Resolution Print design requires a much higher resolution than digital design to ensure the final product renders sharp and clear. Digital design, on the other hand, must take into consideration the resolution of the varying devices on which the design will be viewed (like a small cellphone screen vs. large desktop screen). Digital designers also need to consider the interactivity of their creative, which may include animations, clickable links, and other features that are not available in print. Medium When designing for print, it’s important to take into account the physical characteristics of the finished product such as paper size, weight, texture, and colour. This means that the design needs to be created with a specific print size in mind, including appropriate margins and bleed areas. Print designs must also take into account how colours will appear on paper, which may differ from how they appear on a computer screen. That said, our brand new HP Indigo 15K Digital Press is able to colour match up to 97% of PANTONE® colours—a truly unprecedented innovation! We own the only HP Indigo 15K in Western Canada! Learn More > Layout A billboard is huge, a banner is large, and a mobile screen is itty bitty. Our point? The layout of a design is heavily influenced by the medium in which it will be displayed. In print design, the designer has complete control over the size and placement of elements on the page, allowing for precise control over the visual hierarchy of the design that guides the viewer's eye through the content. In digital design, layouts often need to be responsive—meaning that it must adjust to different screen sizes and resolutions. This can limit the amount of control that the designer has over the layout, as certain elements may need to be moved or resized to fit the screen. Calls-to-action (CTAs) In digital design, the audience’s call to action (CTA) often renders in the form of clickable buttons, links and forms. Because taking action from a print piece typically requires more effort, print designers need to be creative in the way they incorporate their CTAs. Many designers today are using print-based digital technologies like QR codes and augmented reality (AR) to make it easier for the audience to move through the journey from physical to digital. Printing & Publishing Finally, the production process for print and digital designs varies greatly. Print designs must be sent to a printer for physical production, while digital designs can be published online with the click of a button. This means that print designs require more pre-production work—such as physical proofing and colour correction—to ensure that the final product matches the designer's vision. Get a designer that can do both! Did you know WCD’s in-house Creative Services agency specializes in both print and digital design? Not only do we have the all-around expertise, but we also have the production capabilities to print small and large format projects—from 10” brochures to 10’ banners! It’s never been easier to produce your multimedia campaigns in one place. But don’t take our word for it—get immersed in some of our favourite creative campaigns!

Read more

01.31.2023

How Marketers Can Manage Brand Assets with WebConnect

As the gatekeepers and guardians of all things brand, marketers have a unique challenge—empowering employees with access to marketing materials while also maintaining control and governance over their use. For marketers working for large enterprises or geographically dispersed organizations (franchises, for example), managing physical and digital brand assets is easier said than done. The Challenge Managing Brand Assets When we say “brand assets,” we’re referring to any physical or digital materials that are owned by and require oversight from a brand manager. This could include: Promotional materials and SWAGSeasonal signage Brochures and business cardsBranded corporate formsDigital assets like logo filesBranded apparel All of these resources are developed to enable employees across the organization to effectively operate and/or market your brand and its services. But for marketing departments, maintaining the most up-to-date versions of digital assets and distributing physical assets across the organization can be a time consuming and tedious task. Consider these scenarios: Your marketing team has developed an incredible, personalized employee onboarding kit—but every time a new staff member is onboarded, someone from the team needs to manually assemble and distribute the gift. With other priorities top of mind, it’s easy to fall behind, leaving the onboarding experience lacking. How can you streamline and automate this process?Recently, your company rebranded and updated its logo. This means staff across the organization will need updated business cards. However, you know that not everyone uses business cards, and therefore printing them for everyone would be a waste of resources. How can you enable staff to order their own business cards without having to manually manage the entire process?You work for a retailer that develops seasonal promotions for franchisees to leverage in their local markets. These promotions typically include updated window signage that can then be personalized to each location. How can you ensure your franchisees are appropriately leveraging the designs and personalizing them within your brand standards? The Solution: A Branded Storefront An internal digital storefront is a website that hosts your library of brand assets. From a user experience perspective, it's just like online shopping. Staff can simply log in, click on the items they want to order (business cards, brochures, t-shirts—you name it) and the order is sent for manager approval. Check out WCD's customer-facing storefront by clicking here. Undoubtedly the best part of having an internal digital storefront is the time you'll save. With automation built into the backend, the storefront streamlines the entire ordering experience, eliminating your team's need to intervene in the process. This automation prevents you from having to repeat mundane tasks like: Sending creative to printPackaging productsCreating shipping labelsKitting multi-item ordersManaging inventoryEmailing proofs back and forth The list goes on! Why WebConnect? WebConnect is a user-friendly digital platform that enables anyone in your business to order corporate materials with the click of a button. It's valuable for large organizations or franchises who need a simpler way to print, manage and distribute collateral and promotional products. Using its powerful web-to-order capabilities, marketing departments can work with WCD's developers to customize a WebConnect storefront and upload brand materials like brochures, business cards, signage and more. Staff can simply log on, add items to their shopping cart, customize products within brand-approved guidelines, and order those items on-demand. WCD then prints, packages and delivers the finished product directly to their chosen location. Learn more about WebConnect > Ready to save yourself hours? If you think an internal digital storefront could save your marketing department time and money—you're right. Let us show you how with a live demo (no strings attached). We promise you'll love it.

Read more

Share to:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn