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Sales and Marketing Collateral: A Guide to Printing Materials

by Nicholas Brown  |  
September 12, 2016

Print collateral is still an important sales and marketing medium. As a marketer, you need to know how to select from wide variety of printing materials so that you have control over how you present your company to the outside world.

Knowing what materials work best together (paper and ink, for example) enables you to produce strongly branded, high-impact print media for marketing and sales.

So, to get you started, here are must-know basics about printers, ink, paper, and collateral types.

Printers and Ink

In-house Printing

If you're printing in-house from your office inkjet printer, two types of ink are most common. An important consideration: when printing from your office inkjet, factor in the cost of ink, which can get steep if you're printing hundreds of color copies.

Dye-based inks are most popular for business- and budget-model inkjet printers. They are the go-to option to printing marketing collateral from the office. Dye-based inks are well known for their vibrant colors, but they aren't designed for the type of archival quality you'd associate with photographic printers. They do well when printed on semi-gloss or gloss coated paper, and they are more fade-resistant when printed on swellable or resin-coated paper.

Pigment-based inks are new to the scene and are commonly used in photography-grade printers. They last longer, upwards of 50-70 years or more, but they tend to be more fickle. Most pigment printers have more ink pots for truer tones and work well with matte and most textured fine art paper. A downside to pigment ink is that it's more expensive than dye-based ink.

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Nicholas Brown writes for, an online retailer of printing supplies.

LinkedIn: Nicholas David Brown

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  • by Michele Engel Wed Sep 14, 2016 via web

    Excellent article and wonderfully useful. I'm definitely saving this!

    I would quibble a bit with just one conclusion, though. I am using an OKI color laser printer (price range about $500), and it is one of the best investments in office equipment I have ever made. The printouts are noticeably nice looking when I print on 28lb office paper (the kind you get at Office Max/Staples), and I use that paper to print professional-looking fact sheets about my services or presentation materials for a workshop. The text is sharp and so are the images and the colors (if you're using graphic design elements to liven things up but don't need photographs replicated perfectly). People always comment on the quality of the visuals, the weight of the paper, and the smoothness of the writing surface. Makes a great impression for materials that don't need mass distribution or a more formal look. The printer is also a real workhorse and eats up far fewer toner replacements than I expected (I replace each color about once a year, but it depends on how much you print). Just suggesting it as a nice middle ground solution for in-house jobs for a small business or just a department. I've used the printer for a good five years, so that's about $100/year for the printer and about $100/year for the toner replacements (brand knockoffs on Amazon work just as well as the branded toners). And it's been 98% jam free!

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