Production 101


By Jamie Sargent

February 18, 2021

Do you know what flexography printing means? We didn’t either. But thanks to a webinar hosted by our friends at Production Solutions, we do now. And we’re excited to apply our knowledge to help our clients produce better direct mail packages to raise more money for their important causes. Here are five things we learned from Production Solutions’ Production 101 webinar last week:

    • Color me surprised! You’ve probably seen the acronym PMS to describe colors. Even though we use the term regularly, we hadn’t stopped to think about what it actually stands for: Pantone Matching System. Pantone provides a universal language of color. Ink manufacturers adjust formulas to match expectations that Pantone sets so you can reproduce an exact color anywhere in the world. (Fun fact: some colors, including Barbie Pink and UPS Brown, are actually trademarked.)
    • Pick the perfect paper. Ink looks different depending on the type and texture of paper. So, pick your paper wisely. Uncoated paper absorbs ink more, so images expand. If you have the time, always request a sample of your printed product shipped to you. (Although those of us in the non-profit sector understand that time is always tight!) And when making production timelines, always build in more time than you would expect for ink to dry.
    • Don’t be afraid to go digital. Instead of using metal plates to transfer an image, digital printing presses print the image directly on your paper. This process combines the pre-print and personalization printing processes and is excellent for processing short or personalized runs quickly and effectively.
    • Ditch “Dear Friend.” We all prefer to open a letter addressed to us personally rather than “Dear Friend.” Think of data processing as the best way of speaking to your donors. The more personalization, the better. This starts with your data. The more data fields you can pull, the better you can target and connect with your audiences.
    • Sort your mail, save some dollars. Pre-sorted mail has all of the benefits of first class mailing—but you save money by doing some of the work for the post office by sorting the mail by region. And if your mailing is large enough, USPS will give you a significant discount on postage. First-class presorted mail requires 500 pieces, and each piece will be delivered in 1-4 days for less than the price of a regular standard piece.

By- Jamie Sargent

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