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Unique Substrates for Digital Printing

One of the many advantages digital printing provides to the producer is the ability to choose from a wide range of digital substrates. With offset printing, substrates make up on average 30% of the cost of the job. With digital printing, the cost of the substrate in the overall job is minuscule. This allows for more choices than ever before.  And that’s a good thing for marketers and businesses. Here are a few unique digital substrate options widely available on the market.

Digital Substrates & Synthetics

The category of synthetics consists of substrates made from different types of plastics: polypropylene, rigid vinyl PVC and polyester. Most of today’s digital production technology involves dry or liquid toner.  It’s this the low melt technology that allows for guaranteed performance on-press of many synthetic substrates.

Manufacturers are increasing their digital offering to include a wide range of synthetic substrate options. These are perfect for end uses where durability is critical. Synthetic substrates are well-suited for applications that require moisture and grease resistance. They’re also good choices for use in industrial settings where chemical and tear resistance is a key factor.

Synthetic substrates perform much like paper but are made with properties to handle unique conditions. They offer strength and rigidity and provide excellent opacity. They’re also compatible with production methods like perforating and hole punching. Additionally, they’re offered in a range of attributes. These include colors, calipers (thickness) as well as templates (pre-converted perforated/embedded). And some are even suited for magnetizing!

Synthetics offer a wide range of both indoor and outdoor applications. Their end-uses include menus, loyalty cards, plant stakes, instruction manuals, cookbooks, wristbands, maps, flip charts, luggage tags, wall charts, and industrial signage.

Pressure Sensitive

One of the advantages of digital printing is the ability to produce print collateral in smaller quantities. Whether the quantity is 20 or 2,000, digital printing makes it accessible and affordable for businesses of all sizes to produce branded elements. And pressure-sensitive substrates offer a whole of possibilities.

There are pressure-sensitive substrates available in both paper and synthetics face stocks. And they include all kinds of adhesive strengths, ranging from permanent to ultra-removable to cling. That means there’s an option for almost every application.

Pressure-sensitive end uses include bottle labels, direct mail labels, gift tags, seals, display signs, name badges, window decals, stickers and signage to just name a few. 

Writing, Text & Cover

As the offering of textured and colored papers increases for offset printing, the same for digital. Coated and uncoated white papers offer a broad cross-platform stock assortment used heavily by commercial printers. However, the digital options in Writing, Text & Cover papers is rapidly increasing. For marketers and creatives, this means endless possibilities when designing for digital printing.

Almost every writing, text & cover paper manufacturer produces papers available for digital printing. This allows for designers to maximize their budget and utilize paper as a design element – even when the budget is tight. Think about using paper as “bonus color,” whether you’re printing one color or four-color process.

The options in digital papers range from shimmery pearlescent, brights, translucent, earth tones, pastels and metallics. For  brands that require specific colors to match brand standards, there’s even the ability to convert stock colored papers for offset to digitally guaranteed stock. And with low minimums. Talk about affordable customization!

In addition, the range of finishes or textures available in digital printing papers has increased greatly as well. While smooth is a universally compatible finish for digital equipment manufacturers are expanding their portfolios. Today we’re seeing options in tactile finishes beyond the more common linen, laid and felt to include some more unique textures like canvas, techweave and wood. Not to mention finishes that offer a sandpaper-like feel as well as soft-touch. Even traditional cotton papers are available in a range of digital options.

Digital Substrates Deliver ROI

With the technology of digital printing continuing to evolve, so do the materials. That includes their availability and accessibility in the local markets Millcraft serves. When you layer all those options, digital printing has the ability to deliver some serious ROI.

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