As color printers and production printing continue to become cost effective, more and more businesses are completing marketing and advertising type print jobs in-house. And, the demand for high-resolution graphics and full-bleed images continues to drive the print market. Once exclusively handled by production print firms, will cutting-edge technology permit companies to create and execute these types of projects internally?
The Need for Full-Bleed
Why is edge-to-edge print so desirable? Well, a big part of it is psychological. Consumers associate full page images with high-quality, which is why brochures and catalogs are always printed full bleed, offering the illusion of superiority. Therefore, when marketers and advertisers create materials, they want the finished product to be executed as it was designed—as a full-bleed, high-end piece of collateral.
Technology Advancements and Limitation
Even with the most high-tech printers, full-bleed or edge-to-edge print can be difficult to achieve. The reason for this has to do with the design of color laser printers, which use a “fuser” to melt toner onto the paper, requiring a page margin. Because fusing technology is exclusive to laser printers (most commonly found in offices), many businesses still outsource full-bleed print jobs to vendors with specialized inkjet and offset print technology.
So, short of investing in a production print machine—which may not be as unrealistic as you might think—can you achieve edge-to-edge print in your office? Yes and no. Although most modern laser printers offer full-page print options, it is not truly a full-bleed finish like from an inkjet.
However, you can achieve excellent results with some creativity. Try printing your job at the maximum size, but on a larger sheet of paper. This allows for the “edge” required by the fuser, and then you can simply trim the excess (white space) off. If you use a precise, sharp paper cutter, no one will be able to tell the difference. Similarly, if your printer has edge-to-edge options, it will do half of the work for you, requiring you only to trim excess paper off two sides to achieve the full-bleed look.
Want superior results without cutting? Invest in a wide-format printer or print production machine for your office. With wide format, you can create posters and banners in full-bleed without limitations. With a production printer, you can produce high-quality, high-volume print runs with exemplary results for booklets and catalogs.
We know this is a lot of information, so if you still have questions about in-house versus outsourced production printing, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help.