Diary of a Printer Alledged Feb 2011

For many years I have had a range of both White Printing and clear foils (Mylar) sitting in a box gathering dust and generally just degrading, with the case of white foil as you know these ‘go off’ ‘ quicker than most other colours.
In fact I’m hard pushed to find anyone who wants to use white foil to print with these days and was considering to sling the lot out to give me a little more space. Then as strange things happen 4 jobs almost come in together over the space of about 10 days all requiring White or clear foil, that just makes you think or reconsider the use of foils.
There seems to be a growing trend for customers wanting spot lamination or spot UV on business cards, mainly to make there cards stand out from fellow compeditors and to make them look a little different. For those who are unsure, spot UV gives a gloss effect when applied to certain places on a matt card to make those area’s stand out. It has been very popular for many years in high quality magazine and brochures, but only really economical on larger volume runs, on short runs it really is still prohibitively expensive.
One way around this is a plate to be made up and then a clear foil or mylar to be used in those area’s to create the same effect as a spot UV, in the case in point we printed using this method on 250 business cards costing approx £22 for the plate and then we charged £25 for the overprinting onto a full colour business card thus adding £47 to the job. When we had this quoted for a spot UV process it would have been £109 coming in less than half the cost.
The next job we had to tackle was just a little more difficult altogether, our customer a plumber was adamant that not only did he want a thick 540gram card stock, but also printing in white and yellow double sided and a spot UV flame logo in one corner. After considering most options the only one that really made sense was to foil the cards and then use mylar as a spot UV effect, not the cheapest option when you think he wanted 1000 cards which involved 5000 impressions as well as close registration on both sides , so the elements for error was quite high if we one of the process’s wrong on just one of the sides.
I can not really take any credit for this job as ‘luckily for me’ I was away at the NEC at an exhibition, so after 5000 impressions and a very sore hand Steve finished the job and the customer was delighted with the result, I have to say they looked very smart and cool and a cut above the ordinary Plumbers cards.
The final job worth talking about is a Wedding Order printed on a dark blue stock and then printed with White Foil . You would have thought that white foil would have been used with Wedding stationery more often, but I have to say that in around 20 years of printing wedding stationery this is the first time that I have used white Foil.
The design was a fairly modern and contemporary style and then a Dark Blue background it worked superbly, giving a very strong effect and certainly it will be something I shall be suggesting to other prospective Brides.
I suppose the moral to the story is just because you haven’t used some of your coloured foils for sometime , you never know when they are going to be useful or when the next job will want!

David Chill