Have you ever wanted to know what it takes to produce a high quality flyer? If you have, today’s your lucky day! If not, why not keep reading anyway, you might be surprised!
We’re going to take you on a virtual tour of our factory and follow the journey that takes flyers from artwork to a tangible, printed reality.
The first stage for any artwork that goes to print in our factory is with our studio team. Your artwork file is checked over by our in-house team to make sure that it’s ready for print.
They’ll look over it for problems like resolution and transparency issues or the use of RGB colours instead of CMYK. Once they’re happy with it, they’ll upload the file onto our internal workflow management system, IPOP, for our production team to pick up.
2a. Digital Printing
At Route One Print, we always aim to use the most efficient means of production in order to give you the competitive prices that we do. This means that, for runs of 250 or fewer, we use our digital HP Indigo 10,000 to produce your flyers.
When our operator pulls the file from IPOP it is run through our GMG management system to ensure that all colours are up to ISO standards. Our operator then selects a pre-defined programme of print cues according to the specifications given for the file and sends it to print.
Automation is something we’re very keen on here. By having pre-defined print cues for each available specification, we don’t have to waste any time setting up new jobs.
Our HP Indigo linked inline with our Horizon SmartStacker.
We save a lot of time in our digital stream thanks to our inline set-up between our HP Indigo 10,000 and our Horizon SmartStacker. Having these two machines linked means that artwork can go straight through the Indigo and into the SmartStacker to be trimmed without pausing or requiring us to re-enter the file information.
We are the first in the UK to make use of this combination and this focus on automation is what allows us to offer so many products, including flat flyers, on a same-day dispatch!
2b. Litho Printing
For orders of 500 and over, flyers are produced lithographically on one of our Heidelberg presses. After running through our GMG colour management programme, the artwork must be etched onto aluminium plates in our Computer-to-Press (CtP) prepress room
Prepress must wait for enough jobs to come through that can be ganged up efficiently. We can fit between 10 and 20 pieces of artwork on one plate, depending on size, for maximum efficiency. Four of these plates, one for each of the CMYK colours are then taken and placed in one of our Heidelbergs.
A close-up look at our Heidelberg XL 106's paper feeding mechanism.
We primarily use our Speedmaster XL 106 and our Speedmaster SX 102 for printing flyers. Both of these use LE UV drying inks which are dried immediately after being applied to the substrate. This allows us to get through work very quickly – the XL 106 is capable of completing 18,000 sheets of printer paper an hour!
If your flyer doesn’t need any additional finishing like lamination, the sheets will be taken to our Polar guillotine to be cut down to size.
Of course, some of your flyers require more than just printing. If you’ve chosen a silk coated stock weighing 250gsm or higher, your flyers can be laminated – matt, gloss or soft-touch.
Digitally printed flyers can be collected before being trimmed by the SmartStacker so that they can be laminated as one sheet. Litho flyers are simply taken to the laminator before being guillotined.
One of the three Autobond laminators in our factory.
We use Autobond laminators in our factory which are produced just over the county line from us, in Derbyshire. We like Autobond laminators thanks to their combination of chrome-on-rubber and rubber-on-chrome rollers for a strong, smooth bond.
If you choose to have matt lamination on your flyers, you have the additional option to add Spot UV to your design. If so, your flyers will be passed to our newly installed Scodix S75 in our state-of-the-art business card production cell.
Our Scodix S75 within our state-of-the-art business card cell.
When your flyers have had all the special finishing applied that you ordered, they will finally be passed onto one of our guillotines to be cut to size. After that, they will be banded, shrink-wrapped and dispatched!
Keep your eye out for more production lifecycle blogs to understand how the rest of your products are created in our factory!