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The Importance of Quality Printing in Business

Printing has become a lot more accessible to the general public in recent years, with printing even possible directly from some modern smartphones. While home printing may be adequate for personal use, it is a different ball game for people using printing services to market their business. Businesses will always be in need of quality printing products, as well as the expertise and advice that they can expect with doing business with a professional print company.

It has been suggested that the way tickets or invitations look might very well play a part in whether or not a person buys them. A unique and dramatic looking invitation will get the attention of those who receive them. This is especially important if it is an invitation for a charity fundraiser. Attractive printing products always grab attention, which bodes well for a company, and this is particularly the case with business publications and business cards. Cards printed on quality paper make a good first impression on those who receive them, whereas self-printed cards can often look cheap and unprofessional, and make people wonder about the quality of the products and services they will receive from the company.



The Power of Colour in Printed Media

Colour is a fascinating subject. Besides the visual sensation of colour in our everyday world, there is far more to how we experience and perceive colour. When it comes to colour printing, it’s an important facet that can totally change the impact of your design and how customers react to it. Understanding how colour is formed and, more importantly, the connections between different colours is vital to a successful design. Effectively applying colour to a design project has a lot to do with balance — and the more colours you use, the more complicated it is to achieve balance

It is important to understand how colour is handled and reproduced when dealing with printed media. The role of colour in printed material can be particularly impactful – with strong vibrant colours often standing out. If used haphazardly, these same colours may not help get your message across, hence why it is important to understand the psychology of colour when you are designing for print.

Colour Systems

There are two primary colour systems by which colour is reproduced – additive and subtractive (also known as reflective.) We use both methods in our daily lives – the screen you are viewing this on uses additive colour to generate all the colours you see, while a printed version of this article would use subtractive. In simple terms – anything that emits light (such as a screen, a projector, even the sun) uses additive. While everything else, which instead reflects light, uses subtractive colour.

Additive colour is based on red, green and blue (RBG) and works with anything that emits light. The mixture of different wavelengths of light creates different colours, and the more light you add, the brighter and lighter the colour becomes. In additive colour, white is the combination of colour, while black is the absence of colour.

Subtractive colour is based on cyan, magenta and yellow. It works on the basis of reflected light, rather than pushing more light out. The way a particular pigment reflects different wavelengths of light determines its apparent colour to the human eye. In subtractive colour white is the absence of colour, while black is the combination of colour – but it’s an imperfect system. The pigments we have available to use don’t fully absorb light (preventing reflected colour wavelengths), so we have to add a fourth compensating pigment to account for this limitation. We call this ‘key’ (hence why it’s called CMYK) but essentially it’s black. Without this additional pigment, the closest to black we’d be able to render in print would be a muddy brown.

Due to these differences, designers need a way to get consistent colour results when working with both systems — for instance, if you’re designing a logo to use on your website but also want to get a business card printed. That’s where the Pantone Matching System (or PMS) can help. Colours can be matched for web and print (as well as for different types of printing surfaces) to ensure a uniform appearance. The Pantone system makes it easy for designers, clients, and printers to collaborate and ensure that the final product looks as intended.


Understanding Colour

Our minds see something (like grass, for example) and information sent from our eyes to our brain tells us it’s a certain colour (green). Objects reflect light in different combinations and translate them into the phenomenon we know as ‘colour.’ For example, when you are looking for a can of Coca-Cola, your brain immediately searches out the red colour first and the logo/branding second. When it comes to printed media, people decide whether or not they like a product in 90 seconds or less, with 90% of that decision based solely on colour choice.

But how are you meant to design for everyone, when everyone responds differently to colour? The truth is, colour is too dependent on personal experiences to be universally translated to specific feelings. There are, however, broader patterns to be found in colour perceptions that can guide you. So, how do people typically respond to different colours?

Yellow = Optimistic

Let’s start with yellow. Thanks to our sun (and its subsequent sunshine) yellow is often associated with feelings of optimism, warmth, and hope. Yellow is also thought to release serotonin in the brain, and speed up metabolism. Pure/bright yellow used in printed media can be very successful at grabbing attention, but can also be visually jarring or even hard to view if not used thoughtfully. Yellow works well with contrasting colours (think black, greys and navy) but can be a disaster if used with white. Be careful with desaturated and greenish yellows, as they can give the perception of being sickly or unpleasant. Historically, yellow was used to signify a quarantined area. Yellow can quickly become overpowering if used in excess, but effective when applied thoughtfully.

Red = Energetic

Red has many connotations. It is the colour of blood and can convey violence, but it is also the colour of the heart, bringing feelings of love and affection. Fire is also red, which brings both feelings of warmth and danger. It is an energetic and striking colour which gets the pulse racing. It is a primary colour that will dominate your design if not used sparingly. Red is used to snag attention and is popular and arguably the most overused colour in branding – think Coca-Cola, Netflix, YouTube, etc. In print design, red can be a powerful accent colour. Just remember it can have an overwhelming effect, especially in its purest form.

Orange = Ambitious

Orange is a fun and exciting colour. It emits the same brightness as yellow and commands the same energy level as red, but is not as confronting. Orange is often associated with nature – think the colour of the changing seasons, earth and the fruit. Orange is the colour of creativity, change and movement. Its playfulness makes it a fun colour to use in your designs – especially when complimenting it with blue/green tones. Being such a strong colour with high visibility; orange is great for promoting and highlighting certain aspects of your design.

Black = Sophisticated

Like red, there are both negative and positive connotations connected to black. Black means death, fear, mystery and the unknown. Black is technically not a colour though. In additive colour, black is the absence of light and in subtractive colour, it absorbs all the colours of the visible spectrum and reflects none of them to our eyes. Regardless – black is a very sophisticated colour when it comes to print media. Black is professional and credible, and it can be edgy as well. It is often associated with wealth and power. Its neutral tone allows it to work well with just about any other colour – an absolute joy to work with.

Blue = Calming

When asking people what their favourite colour is, blue is a popular choice. Blue brings feelings of tranquillity, peace, and strength. Blue is the colour of the sea and the sky, which evokes a sense of trust and security – hence why it’s popular in branding and print media. However, in the English language it also signifies sadness or depression, so using it thoughtfully in conveying your message is paramount.

Green = Pleasing

Green is the colour of life and nature. As humans, we are instinctively drawn to green, as it represents fertile land and is very pleasing to the senses. Green is the colour of peace, envy, wealth, luck, generosity, and fertility. It is widely used in the health sector because it is relaxing to look at and evokes a sense of calm. It is often used in print media to convey a natural and organic aesthetic.

Purple = Elegant

Purple evokes a sense of elegance and class. It is often associated with royalty, magic, mystery, and piety. It stimulates feelings of elegance but like blue, it has soothing and calming influences. It is often used in the beauty and health sectors. It is a very powerful colour to use in design, being almost universally appreciated.

Brown = Durable

Brown may not be the most glamorous of colours, but it serves a great purpose in design. It is a completely natural colour and is associated with wood, soil, human hair colour, eye colour and skin pigmentation. You need to be cautious when using brown though, as it is often associated with dirt and lack of cleanliness, poverty, faeces, and plainness. Used in design, it is commonly applied as a background colour or texture. When used intelligently, brown gives the impression of reliability, durability, and friendship.

White = Purity

White represents purity and cleanliness. It evokes feelings of innocence, divinity, and perfection. On the contrary, it can also feel sterile, clinical and empty. Like black, white is not technically a colour, rather the combination of all the colour waves in the spectrum (sunlight). Paper is white, so you will probably work with ‘white space’ when designing for print. White works with nearly every colour, except for lighter shades of yellow and orange. When designing a successful logo, the rule of thumb is it should always be designed in black and white first, with colour added for emphasis/branding.


Colour stimulates our brain and decision making, so it is paramount to be thoughtful when used in printed media. The psychology of colour is a complex subject that lands at the intersection of art and science – a dynamic that makes designing for print so interesting. The next time you are choosing colour for your printed media, keep this guide in mind – happy designing.


3D Printing Production Parts with FDM Pro

In a production environment, the need for consistent builds and mechanical properties can pose a challenge to additive manufacturing (AM). AM provides real benefits for these industries through improved manufacturing processes and supply chain flexibility, but companies continually push for further industry advancements in quality, reliability, and repeatability to meet their stringent needs.

The Solution

One answer to this challenge is FDM Pro. FDM Pro utilizes ULTEM™ 9085 CG resin to deliver mechanically enhanced ULTEM™ 9085 resin parts with the repeatability necessitated by high-requirements industries. This material delivers the repeatability necessitated by the aerospace industry and beyond, ensuring that the 1000th part will be the same as the 1st and resulting in industry-leading coefficient of variance (<7-10%)

The ULTEM™ 9085 CG resin material has improved mechanical properties with upwards of 39% increase to tensile strength and upwards of 65% increase to elongation at break in the Z orientation compared to standard ULTEM™ 9085 resin. The improvement of mechanical properties allows for engineers and designers to expand their use of printed parts.

The FDM Pro solution builds the material in .010” thick layers. Our honed internal processes, enhancements of the printer including new extrusion tips, and finely tuned software produces cosmetic parts with better aesthetics than typically seen in ULTEM™ resin material.


Because of these benefits, FDM Pro is a solution for plethora of production applications. The higher strength of ULTEM™ 9085 CG resin can aid in the transition of overly engineered parts to more streamlined lightweight plastic parts. Engineers can utilize FDM Pro to produce components such as replacement parts, functional prototyping, under the hood applications in automotive and aircraft interiors.

FDM Pro and Aircraft Interiors

Aerospace companies are perfectly positioned to leverage the benefits of FDM Pro alongside their existing production specifications as well as expand the use of 3D printing for a broad array of components within aircraft interiors.

Aircraft interior applications include components related to:

    • Environmental control systems
    • Interior panels
    • Cosmetic bezels
    • IFEC (in-flight entertainment & communication)
    • Lighting
    • Lavatory components
    • Custom cosmetic components

3D Printed Art & Design World


By Neri Oxman, in collaboration with STRATASYS
Produced on a Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 3D Printer

Imaginary Beings: Mythologies of the Not Yet collection, includes 18 sculptures of ‘beings’ inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ Book, ‘Imaginary Beings,’ an encyclopaedia of imaginative zoology that contains descriptions of 120 mythical beasts from folklore and literature. Each ‘being’ in this series encapsulates the amplification and personalization of a particular human function such as the ability to fly, or the secret of becoming invisible. Ancient myths are united with their futuristic counterpart, brought to life by design fabrication and 3D printing technologies.

Photo Credit: Yoram Reshef


Size: 500 x 250 x 200 mm

Kafka demonstrates the powerful combination of 3D printing and new design algorithms inspired from nature. Drawing inspiration from author Franz Kafka’s famous novel, ‘The Metamorphosis’, Oxman sets out to represent a physical, wearable metamorphosis: a material counterpart to Kafka’s chimerical writing. Kafka’s intentional use of ambiguous terms in the novel, inspired here an equally ambiguous use of physical properties and behaviour, embedding several functions. The bestiary artwork is composed of several animal parts and combines a soft internal texture with stiff armor-like material.

Photo Credit: Yoram Reshef


Size: 40 x 20.1 x 25 cm

Greek for ‘air in motion’, the ancient word Pneuma is used in religious contexts to denote the spirit or the soul housed by the human ribcage. Pneuma 1 marks a series of design explorations depicting this ethereal constituent in material form, as a housing unit for the spirit from which breath emerges. Inspired by animals of the phylum Porifera such as sponges, this soft armor is designedto protect the body while providing comfort and flexibility. Two bodies filled with pores and channels allowing air to circulate throughout are printed using multiple materials with varying mechanical properties making up the stiff continuous shell and soft inner regions.

Photo Credit: Yoram Reshef


Size: 44.1 x 35.2 x 74.7 cm

The imaginary being, Arachne, is inspired by the myth of Arachné, the mortal weaver who was transformed into a spider by the Godess Athena. The 3D printed corset is inspired by the construction of a spider’s web. The piece combines shades of blue and white in both rigid and flexible materials, providing a protective armour for the rib cage, while the softer materials around the inter-costal muscles enhance movement and comfort.

In more ways than one, spider spinnerets can be seen as the antecedents of multi-material printers.

Able to produce up to eight different silks during their lifetime, each spinneret gland within a spider’s abdomen produces a thread for a special purpose: sticky silk is produced for trapping prey and fine silk for enshrouding it.


How to Choose a POS System for Salons and Boutiques

Retailers that make a living helping clients look and feel gorgeous need to look amazing themselves, so electronic clutter and outdated technology doesn’t fit the bill. Choosing a point of sale (POS) system for salons requires extra attention to style, whether it’s hardware design or an installation that needs an added level of detail.

However, don’t choose a POS system based on looks alone. Think carefully about the software: do you need inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), reports, or time keeping? It seems like common sense, but don’t paint yourself into a corner by selecting a package that leaves out important features.

Once you’ve made a list of what you need, it’s time to shop around. Choose a POS system for salons that includes these six necessities.

1. Functionality: POS systems for salons should be easy to learn and use and allow employees to complete a transaction in as few clicks as possible. If you cater to repeat clients, select software with an integrated CRM. This allows you to track customers’ buying habits and preferences. You can use this information to make recommendations based on past purchases or send clients coupons and incentives to make a purchase or schedule an appointment.

2. Employee management: Employee management is an important, multifaceted function of a POS system for salons and boutiques. Labor schedulers make it simple to schedule employees for work, swap shifts or duplicate a previous week’s schedule. They also help you make informed decisions about scheduling, so you are not caught under or overstaffed. Depending on the software, employee management functions give you a bird’s eye view of how many employees are working and what jobs they are performing that day.

3. Printed promotions: Very few receipt printers come with cloud software that allows you to create and schedule printed promotions for free. Choosing a Star Micronics printer for your salon POS system will grant you access to a full suite of Star Cloud Services, including PromoPRNT. PromoPRNT will empower salon owners to create custom promotions, manage them remotely, and schedule them to run at a pre-determined time. Increase customer retention with a limited time 20% off brow wax offer. Boost customer retention with a monthly 15% off of a cut and color.

4. Sales and inventory reporting: Many POS systems for salons allow you to see sales and inventory information in real time, so you can keep tabs on business throughout the day. These systems also include a variety of reporting options that give you the opportunity to see sales by the shift, hour, day, week, month, or year. Running sales reports help salon and boutique owners identify which styles and product lines customers can’t get enough of and which ones are ready for markdown. Knowing what the top selling items are helps ensure they’re always in stock and in prime position on the sales floor.

5. Inventory control: Knowing which items are hot helps you manage inventory levels so you aren’t overloaded with unsold products while running out of the ones customers want. POS systems for salons and boutiques can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend searching for items that are in stock, so choose one with the proper inventory control functions. A multilocation business can use its POS system to determine which locations have the items available and arrange for shipping.

6. Aesthetics: When it’s your business to make people look beautiful, you need to keep up appearances. Choose a stylish POS system for salons that fits with your business’ reputation. Appearances matter, so you can’t afford to have wires hanging around or dated hardware. The checkout is a customer’s last stop before they leave, so a fast transaction on beautifully designed hardware leaves a positive, lasting impression as clients depart.

The term “salon quality” has come to mean top of the line. Insist on the same standard for the technology you choose for your business. A purpose-built POS system for salons and boutiques will give you the features that meet your unique business needs, allow you to provide great customer service, and equip your business to operate successfully.


Posted on October 11, 2018 by Brianna Moriarty



How the Bottling and Beverage Sector Utilizes Line Matrix Printers to Meet Their Needs

Globally, the Bottling and Beverage sector is a large portion of one of the biggest industries in the world. The beverage and bottling sector is an extremely competitive market. If you want to succeed, your business plan needs to include a well-crafted supply chain. Every link in the chain needs to work in conjunction from the production line to distribution. Facilities that bottle and produce drinks can differ in the type of bottling lines and beverages they produce, but one consistent factor they all employ is the need to keep proper record of inventory, shipping and receipt of products. All of these applications are managed in multiple departments, so clear lines of communication and accurate reports are important to keep the supply chain moving. Whether it be in an office environment printing a report showing how many bottles, cases and products are produced and shipped each day, or on a loading dock printing a trucking report that shows the contents of each truck, reliable printing is important. Without documentation to show how much, when and where these beverages have been, chaos could ensue.

A common application employed in this industry is the use of multi-part forms to produce invoices and track chain of custody on products. Invoices are printed on multi-part forms daily for each truck and the truck driver takes the invoices for each location where they are delivering product. The drivers have their customers inspect deliveries and then sign the invoice. The delivery person gives one part of the form to the customer the other stays with the truck driver. The Driver then returns the signed invoices to the office when they have finished their route, thus completing the chain of custody and keeping solid records of product transport. This process happens 1000’s of times a day and upwards of 30,000 pages need to be printed every month.

The Right Solution

With such high print volumes and the widespread types of environments where printing takes place, no ordinary laser printer could handle the job that the bottling and beverage industry demands. Line matrix printers deliver what this industry needs by providing speed, reliability and ruggedness all mixed with a low cost of printing. With 1,000s of different types of crucial reports, invoices and delivery sheets being printed daily, printer downtime is unacceptable. Many reports are required to be printed on non-standard paper sizes and green bar forms. With line matrix printers, standard and custom paper stock widths from 3 to 17” can be used to meet most report size requirements and delivery sheets can be printed quickly due to the high speed performance of line matrix printers (up to 2000 lines per minute). Since often times reports and invoices are printed on the fly in dirty, busy, sometimes harsh temperature loading docks, a printer that can withstand a harsh environment is also important. Line matrix printers are designed with this in mind; engineered to deliver non-stop performance and withstand humidity, temperature, static electricity, dust and other airborne particles which can lead to premature failure, frequent paper jams, print quality issues and more.

With the reliance on multi-part forms for delivery invoices being of the utmost importance, it’s no surprise line matrix printers are the best choice for the job. For example, with a laser printer a delivery invoice would have to be printed and filled out multiple times on separate sheets of paper, then gathered for a driver to take on their route. Once the delivery is made, the driver has to get the customer to sign multiple pages for receipt and finally bring one copy back to the facility, wasting valuable time and resources. Along with loss of time it also greatly increases the risk of misplacing copies, having incomplete information, and accidentally mixing customers invoices. The use of a multi-part forms eliminates these problems. Line matrix printers provide the most reliable source for creating multi-part forms. Laser printers cannot produce these forms in one pass. With a line matrix printer the user can print up to 6-part forms in one pass with high-quality, easy to read text and graphics, without compromising output speed. Print quality and style can be easily adjusted to meet the demands for any particular report. Since line matrix printers have SAP® compatibility along with other enterprise host platforms, on demand invoices can be printed right on the production or loading dock floor.

For over 40 years some of the biggest names in the bottling and beverage industry have trusted Printronix line matrix printers to take care of their printing needs. Line matrix printers will continue to be the toughest, most reliable printers on the market for customers in industries worldwide.