The commercial printing industry has a long tradition, but it's changed drastically with the emergence of digital technologies. The modern printing industry is quicker and more versatile than ever before; today's printing companies offer an increasingly wide variety of products of services to clients, delivering professional-quality results in a short turnaround time.
In the past, most commercial printing was done using the offset printing method. This method involves the production of plates, which are used to physically press ink to a page in several stages. While offset printing is still an economical choice for large-volume jobs, digital printing services have gained ground recently because they're cheaper and faster.
Digital printing allows for more adaptability, since it does not require the production of printing plates. Every print output can be different, and little setup is necessary. Because of the flexible nature of the process, digital printing is often used to prototype larger jobs; for example, a publisher might digitally print a small run of books before giving the go-ahead to an offset production of a large run.
Advertising printing is one of the most common services provided by modern commercial printing businesses. Thanks to digital printing technologies, turnaround times for projects are shorter and costs are lower. Reserved in the past for large companies, smaller businesses can now take advantage of services like calendar printing to improve their visibility. Smaller print runs of personalized calendars can easily be made for clients for a low per-unit price. Calendars are popular promotional items because they're likely to remain visible to the customer or client for a longer period of time than other forms of advertising. Thermal printers can also be used for single-color printing jobs.
Another popular promotional item supplied by printers is the door hanger. This small advertising tool has grown in popularity, due its small size and relatively low production cost. New digital printing technologies also allow less expensive door hangers to look like high-end promotional tools. Business card printing and brochure printing are still popular, and virtually every professional printing company offers these services. Digital technologies also allow clients more ways to personalize their printed products, leading to greater customer satisfaction.