Because the range of quality among printed pieces and printers is so great, planning requires decisions about how good each product must be. Customers who know exactly what quality they want can plan realistic schedules and budgets and select printers who can produce the work properly.
These categories of quality help you identify specific quality features of printing jobs.
Basic quality involves standard materials and quality control at quick printers and copy centres. Using devices that print with toner, not ink, basic quality gets the job done reasonably well without losing too much quality. Basic quality pieces are usually in only one or two colours. Photographs are recognizable but may lose details from originals. Political fliers, business forms, newsletters and real estate brochures are usually printed with basic quality.
Good quality printing involves standard materials and quality control at commercial and publications printers. Images may be reproduced with either toner or ink. Colours are saturated, colour digital photos subjectively pleasing, black and white photos sharp, register tight but not perfect. Average direct mail catalogs, most hardcover books, retail packaging and magazines.
Premium quality requires careful attention to detail, high grade materials and presses using ink or toner. Colour photographs subjectively match transparencies, and black and white photos appear very sharp, products have few flaws and seem almost perfect to people who are nit graphic arts professionals. Many commercial printers do premium printing when schedules and budgets permit. The category includes upscale clothing catalogs, annual reports from large corporations and magazines.
Showcase quality combines the best machines and materials with operators who give scrupulous attention to detail. Everything from design to paper is fist class. Colour digital photos come as close as possible to matching products or original scenes. The category of showcase printing consists of products that themselves are form of art that only a few printing buyers can afford and only specialist printers can achieve. It includes museum grade art books, brochures for expensive automobiles and resorts, and the finest annual reports.Each printing job has its own appropriate quality level. Don’t take a simple catalog to a printer specializing in showcase quality. And don’t pay an award winning graphic designer to coordinate basic quality printing