Friday, September 4, 2009

Sticker Printing Process

What does your sticker printing product specifications actually say? And what does each product or detail contribute to your sticker printing? To its success? To its failure? Sticker printing may not be a delicate matter, but it can be with all the processes a normal print job undergoes.

An Overview of the Printing Process
An overview of the printing process with which stickers undergo is vital so you know how to approach it. It also gives you a good idea on how you will work out the timeline of your printing project, from turnaround time to shipping and the like.

For custom sticker orders, it may also give you an idea on the turnaround time your printing company of choice might need in producing your prints. Nevertheless, here is a short run on what your stickers undergo.

1. Once the printing company receives your files, it will be reviewed or evaluated. This is the proofing process where the pre-press department of a printing company checks for any errors, concerning the print quality, color and the like. Afterwards, a proof will be sent your way for approval.

2. Once you approve the file, it will be ganged. This is where your stickers are put in place on a huge sheet of paper along with other print jobs. If your stickers are made into single-run projects, then the whole sheet would be just your stickers. This makes for a whole plate consisting of only your design. Hence, making it a very expensive sticker printing.

3. Plating comes next which also involves color separation for offset sticker prints. Color separation involves creating plates for each of the colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

4. Sheets of paper or a roll of paper is then fed into the press.

5. The stickers printed on paper label must be left to dray using machines.

6. Afterwards, the stickers once again go back in line where it will be cut to size.

7. Stickers are then prepared for shipping.

Other Sticky Sticker Processes
The printing process that your sticker undergoes is only shown for standard sticker order. It will take a longer time to produce custom stickers because within this short and overly simplified overview, other jobs will be included down the line.

1. Spot Colors – If you want a very specific color on your stickers, then it would have to undergo spot coloring. This is an expensive process for the printing company needs to buy the exact paint needed for your job through the Pantone Matching System.

If a printing company runs prints with an advanced press, this can easily be achieved since everything is relayed. CMYK inks and spot colors are applied and dried in a single run.

2. Die – Cutting involves printers to make dies. Dies are the shapes pressed unto the paper to cut it into the right shape or dimension. The complexity of the cut that you want will affect the kind of material used to make the die with and making the die itself. This can make die cutting cheap or expensive, long or short too.

Dies are also made for embossing if and when needed for your stickers. It creates a raised, almost 3-dimensional effect on your prints.

3. Foil stamping too involve the use of dies and metallic ink colors. Again, the drying process may vary and may take time.

Communicate with your sticker printing company closely when working out a custom sticker project. This gives you a better idea on how to work out the deadlines and prepare your sticker campaign much well ahead as planned.

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