Embracing Technology

Technology has revolutionised the printing world. Printed In Guernsey has set aside the old, non-sustainable printing practices and has embraced the future. New techniques now ensure that there is minimal paper waste, the print quality is better, it’s more cost-effective for the printer, delivers more value to the customer and is kinder to the planet.

The rise of the internet created a misconception – the paperless office! But printing is not dead! Far from it. We have made significant investments in training and the very latest digital printing technologies. This benefits businesses in the islands and the UK in a way that would not have been possible using traditional printing techniques.

Personalisation of products and bespoke printed communications are already a big thing that savvy businesses employ to market to their customers. Take brochures for example, forget the ‘blunderbus’ approach where every customer gets every piece of information on all products landing on their doormats.  Clever use of data allows for businesses to target their client’s requirements and only communicate the specific marketing information they want and need.

In effect, every brochure that comes off the press is bespoke, designed and printed especially for that client. It is far less likely to be binned (or recycled) immediately, improving the chances of that all-important sale.

Back in the day, if your business required 100 copies of a simple A4 leaflet with some text and one colour photograph this process would have taken around 3 weeks. The original artwork would need to have been photographed, separations made, films planned and metal printing plates built. Setting the printing machine up would probably have taken around two hours and lots of paper and ink would have been wasted.

Those simple brochures could have cost around £1000. So, businesses used to order 1000 instead of 100 to bring the unit cost down. 900 brochures would then sit in a storeroom somewhere waiting for the day they were superseded and were thrown away.

But today, if you want 100 colour leaflets, each one could have a different photo and you would probably get the completed items in 3 days, and it could be done for a fraction of the cost.

This year Guernsey was honoured to be hosting the Island Games. Printed In Guernsey produced 3,500 accreditations for the Island Games sportsmen and women, journalists, volunteers, coaches, and medical staff on to synthetic paper. Each contained a unique photograph of the pass holder, their name, and their island flag, all printed in one day. I have no idea how we would have done this job back in the 80’s! Investment in the very best technology allows us to achieve it.

During the pandemic Printed In Guernsey took on a large number of tasks for businesses and organisations under NDA and GDPR compliance. Digital techniques have greatly increased the security that can be built into a document. We can add microtext which can only be read using magnification, invisible ink which is only legible under ultraviolet light or watermarking patterns that are difficult to replicate. Your document may also benefit from a selection of clever barcoding techniques.

The accuracy and quality of digital printing compared to older technologies is off the scale. Colour matching is perfect as our machines have cameras that check several parameters on every sheet. If it isn’t right, it is automatically removed and replaced.

Digital printing requires no set up time, no cleaning of rollers or changing of inks. There are far fewer stages in the process such as folding, collating and binding so takes a fraction of the time. There are fewer moving parts so far less that can go wrong. This increases trust between the printer and the client.

Digital printing allows businesses to use each hour of the working day more productively as you can have a constant stream of documents printing. Because the digital process has fewer steps than older techniques this improves the turnaround time and helps your profitability. As technology improves, options for paper stock, finishes, or other features will also continue to increase.

Modern digital printing techniques tread lightly on our finite resources compared to the old, power-greedy systems. People imagine that printers have great big machines that use lots of electricity but, the cost is now just a tiny percentage of the overall cost of a print job. Our new machines don’t use anywhere near as much electricity as the old ones… and we all go home with clean hands.

So, that’s a brief overview of how the digital revolution has ensured printing is far from dead. It’s alive and kicking and doing very well thanks. What’s more it has an exciting future as the development of new technologies accelerates.