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The process of printing is one of the most common in all of business – but the concept of print substrates is a little more varied and complex.

Every industry relies on printing to some extent. What they print and how much depends on the size of their organization and the operations they’re engaging in. Since these needs can be quite diverse, it’s only natural that variety is available in terms of print material.

Print substrate is one of the core materials of the print process. This refers to the material on which images or text will be transferred.

Materials are chosen based on the needs of the industry, the qualities that people desire in their prints, and specific objectives they’re looking to fulfill. Here’s quick guide to this important aspect of the print industry.

When a person pictures a print fleet, the most common material they picture is paper. Tied with ink, it’s the most common resource that print operations consume. While paper is a crucial part of the process, not all paper is created equal.

Some paper is designed with a film, foil, or matte finish, which can be helpful if a company is looking to get a specific look. For example, complex and creative color schemes often pop better if they’re printed on paper that’s enhanced with a specific type of coating like this.

But beyond just the various types of paper, there are different configurations in which it can be applied. Some printers feed individual sheets through, while others use rolls to complete high-volume jobs. The roll-to-roll market is massive, and is expected to reach $48.3 billion within the next few years.

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While paper is popular, plastic is gaining favor fast. Used in a variety of packaging setups, folders, containers, promotional products, and other similar products, plastic is popular for both its durability and its ability to support high-gloss paints for a better visual impact.

Even wood, stone, and metal can function as a print substrate, provided the print setup supports it. These materials can be used as decorative items, building materials, signs, and more.

A company’s print setup is responsible for a lot more than just the number of documents that get processed out to be passed around the office. A print fleet can help a company stand out in its field in more ways than one.

Some companies desire to be the brand that makes a visual impact, so they command people’s attention whether it’s on a poster advertisement or a product package. Companies that invest in higher-quality paper and plastics with advanced coatings can create stunning effects that show off their brand’s spirit through impressive color schemes.

Sustainability is also a big concept in the modern print industry. With more companies focusing on their sustainability efforts, they’ve found that the print fleet is a fine place to start. Sustainable ink and paper products can have a big impact on the environment. This is especially true when they’re used by companies that engage in high print volumes on a regular basis.

Consider also how a great deal of modern packaging is designed to be more sustainable. This encourages companies to focus on eco-friendly plastics or plastic substitutes so they can show their commitment to the planet even before their product is used.

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Every print job is a combination of both the materials and the equipment that processes them. While most offices have standard print setups to handle your typical 8.5”x11” print jobs, it takes more advanced hardware for certain print jobs.

Print setups should be optimized for the specific needs of a company. These are often based around their specific industry. For example, take the AEC field. This is a sector where blueprints, diagrams, and schematics are printed on a regular basis. Not only is the right print substrate required, but the company needs a printer built for these advanced needs.

Managed print services are also handy for managing complex print needs, whether it’s a diverse array of print options, high volume jobs, or both. Managed services make it easy to see where materials are being consumed, when supplies are low, and what type of impact a print setup is having on the business.

Print processes are complex and have a massive impact on the organization that carries them out. Whether the concern is about finding the proper print substrate or building an optimal print setup of the proper equipment, we help you take a better approach to printing.

Ready to work with a managed print partner who cares about the success of your company? We prove that your print fleet is more than just a set of devices – it’s a proven tool for generating ROI. When you’re ready to improve your print operations, contact us.

Topics: Managed Print ServicesPrinting

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