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Commentary & Analysis

Debunking Digital Printing’s ‘Urban Legends’


By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: January 16, 2007

--- Special Feature Debunking Digital Printing’s ‘Urban Legends’ By Bob Wagner January 16, 2007 -- As I traveled the world the last seven years evangelizing the value and benefits of digital color printing, I met with thousands of creative professionals, marketers and printers. And it wasn’t too far into my global digital odyssey that I began to spot a pattern in their thinking. I quickly discovered there were four, recurring negative perceptions surrounding digital color printing: 1. The image quality isn’t good enough; 2. Digital printing’s too expensive; 3. The available papers are way too limited; and, 4. We don’t have the sophisticated data for variable data printing. In sales terms, these are the major “objections” to be overcome. Fortunately, each and every one of these “Digital Printing Urban Legends,” as I named them, truly has been debunked. In fact, the truth is: digital color printing’s ready for prime-time. It’s designer portfolio-grade and Madison Avenue-approved. It’s client-pleasing and award-winning. And it’s response-generating and totally relevant. Now, that’s the real-deal. But how do you change these negative perceptions of creatives and marketers, and some printers, too? Well, you have to help educate them. . . everyday. You have to continuously make them aware of the true value and numerous benefits of digital color printing. It’s an on-going process and, today, I thought we’d begin right here--by creatively confronting the four most common objections to digital color printing head-on: Legend 1: The image quality isn't good enough. Debunked: Digital color presses achieve professional image quality that effectively complements offset in nearly every application. Legend 2: Digital printing is too expensive. Debunked: Digital printing is cost-competitive. Short runs are less expensive than offset. Warehousing and postage costs are often reduced. And value is added through improved response rates, turnarounds and workflow efficiencies. Legend 3: The available papers are too limited. Debunked: Ongoing research and development has delivered an ever-widening range of digitally optimized coated and uncoated papers, parchments, cover stock and specialty media to meet almost every need. Legend 4: We don't have the data for variable data printing. Debunked: Most one-to-one marketing pieces use basic and easily sourced data, while providing easy ways to collect personal information for future use. Convinced yet? Please don’t take my word for it, if you’re still a digital disbeliever. Learn more for yourself through a formal investigation I just helped complete into The Urban Legends of Digital Color Printing. Here, you’ll find a dozen case studies that describe how advertising agencies, graphic design firms and print services providers have helped debunk these common digital printing misconceptions. So, I invite you to please set your perceptions aside and join the ranks of the digitally enlightened, who each day reap the many benefits offered by vanguard digital color printers and presses. Enjoy! But be afraid. Be very afraid. Link to the blog at (http://www.inthebalanceblog.com/blog/)



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