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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 InkCartridges.com, an online retailer of printing supplies.

LinkedIn: Nicholas David Brown