Is it appropriate to take baby photos of a new print press? Before you answer, it’s a really freaking cool one.
Triplets, actually. Fraternal, to be exact. We had the pleasure of welcoming three brand new print presses to the Falconer Printing family this month, and boy was it exciting. With labor taking nearly three days, we’re quite tired, but very pleased. We can’t wait to watch them develop their own language.
Should you be excited (hint)?
If you guessed yes, then you guessed correctly. We don’t even know who you are (we might, but can you really be sure these days?), but it doesn’t matter. Everyone should be excited about this.
As different as the new presses are, they’re alike in three very cool ways:
- They’re greener
- They print better
- They’re cheaper.
Nothing changed (for the better) overnight.
Printing technology dates back a couple years, to roughly 200 AD, when the Chinese took to carved wood blocks to repeatedly transfer images to paper. After another 800 years or so (someone fell asleep), the wood blocks made way for moveable type, and in the 11th Century, East Asia began seeing book production as a common practice.
Yeah. Things moved pretty quickly back in those days. Luckily, the phone wasn’t invented for another few hundred years, so they had time to hone in on their skills before we needed phone books.
The offset printer has been staple of the professional printing industry for over 200 years now, and it’s still the primary technology used in many of the high volume print pieces you’ll see today. While everything from inks to printing plates have seen significant improvements, the basic functionality of an offset press has continued to win favor for large, high quality, color-accurate print jobs. We haven’t looked to replace it without a fight, either.
Cautiously bracing for change.
The reason? Like Meg Ryan, not all change is for the best. While digital printing technology is getting easier to use, cheaper to operate and faster to deliver results, there hasn’t been a noticeable improvement in quality – especially over that of offset technologies.
Digital printing makes use of computerized processes to coordinate where color is added to a piece of paper, skipping out on the setup, delays and costs of transfer of ink to/from printing plates and rollers. That lead to significant cost savings, especially on smaller printing jobs.
For years, the digital presses simply lacked the quality of offset printers, and when your business is founded on the love for great, beautiful print work, you hold quality near and dear. Many print and copy shops today consist solely of early-generation digital printing equipment, not terribly different from the desktop printers you’ve used at home or in the office.
Many thanks to The Tao Of Pooh.
If you’ve read Benjamin Hoff’s “The Toa of Pooh,” you know, like us, that it’s OK to appreciate who you are, while still being open to change. It’s a pretty simple thought, but one of significant importance (to life as well as this article). We definitely recommend the book. You can find it here.
We’ve always sought to deliver the best quality work possible, with as courteous and diligent service as we can muster up. That’s made for a lot of great relationships, and being that it’s part of our old soul, it’s come pretty naturally. That being the case, we’ve never really tried to be the cheapest printer on the block. In fact, we’re not driven by that at all. We’ve succeeded for over 109 years because we work to make people look great. We’d prefer to continue with that reputation.
A whole new world.
That said, Bob Dylan was right, and we’re not (at all) opposed to saving money. Falconer Printing has used digital presses alongside offset presses for years. For small jobs, where price is a major factor of significance, we’ve used digital equipment to offer a quick-setup, low-minimum solution. The results might be more limited in fidelity and detail, lacking the crispness and smoothness of an offset job. However, in situations where the budget is driving the cart, digital presses have been a big help.
With more detail-oriented work and a greater demand for quality, we’ve often quoted projects on offset presses. At times, we’ve been hesitant to deliver digital results – until now.
Fresh for 2019, we’ve brought in three, brand new, state-of-the-art digital presses. Brand new presses that can finally produce quality indistinguishable between offset and digital systems. That means we can deliver inexpensive, high-quality, low-volume projects. The crazy part? No other printer within hours of Western New York has this equipment. We’re very fortunate to have exclusive use of the equipment, and we’re putting it to great use.
You get a printing solution! And you get a printing solution! And you…
With the inclusion of this new equipment, we’re now able to competitively quote projects of all shapes and sizes. We can do so using whatever equipment can deliver the least expensive results – because we’re finally dealing with a level playing field. All of our presses are now capable of producing the quality results we demand.
We’ve always sought to deliver the best work we can, and we’ve just turned a corner that will help us lower prices for many of our customers. We feel great about being able to do that, but not only for the sake of price. We’re very excited to be able to offer lower prices while delivering print work we’d put our name on. It’s an exciting time for us, and we can’t wait to help you see what’s possible today.
If you’d like to learn more, stop on in or give us a call. We’re very proud parents!