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DIY vs. Professional Printing

Computer and printer technologies have come a long way over the past ten years.

For an investment of less than $100, you can forgo professional printing and pick up a relatively decent home or office printer at any local business supply store.  They can print vivid, stunning photos and have a wide array of wireless options such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and the ability to wirelessly connect to your phone or office computer. Despite the advanced features of a home or office printer, many businesses and individuals still regularly use the services of a professional printer. Why would someone pay a professional printer to do what their home or office printer could accomplish? We’re going to explore a few essential reasons why a professional printing company, such as AlphaGraphics of New Bern, can offer more value and help you save money over printing at home or in your office.


While on the surface, it may seem like paying a professional printer to run a job costs more money than doing it yourself, the exact opposite is often true. There are many hidden costs that a business will incur with each and every print job. The cost of ink that you buy for your printer at the local office supply store is extremely expensive. Not to mention that unless someone is actively monitoring the ink levels, there is a very real chance of running out of ink at an inopportune time.  This most often happens in offices where an employee will run a medium to large print job on the office printer. Just a few of these can deplete the ink levels more quickly than you think. Then there is the wear and tear factor. No matter if you outright own or rent your office printer, it’s not designed to run huge jobs. Eventually, it can and will break down, and you’ll be stuck waiting for the repairman to show up and fix it.  At AlphaGraphics of New Bern, we have lost count how many times we have seen a customer walk through our front doors in a very stressed out state of mind. They tried to run an important print job on the office printer, and it malfunctioned right in the middle. No matter how expensive or technologically advanced your office printer is, it is still not meant to run huge jobs. The state-of-the-art digital printers that we use are specifically engineered and designed to do nothing but print 24 hours a day, seven days a week---while at the same time creating highly vivid and professional-looking printed collateral.  

Increased Payroll Costs

When running a print job in your office, someone will need to stand by and monitor the output for quality, and then collate and staple everything when the project completes. That single print job just went up in cost by whatever you’re paying that employee as an hourly wage.  They probably have much more important work to take care of, yet are stuck standing around the copy machine with a stapler. That’s assuming the print job goes off without a paper jam or the printer suddenly decides to run out of ink—now that employee has to track down the office manager or IT department to help get the printer back up and running.

Loss of Business or Reputation

The loss of reputation or business is one of the hidden costs of running printing a job on your office printer that many people don’t stop to consider. A professional printer is just that—an experienced professional who knows exactly how to print any type of kind of job imaginable—and make it look amazing.  Office printers have their limitations, and the average office worker probably doesn’t know about bleed, trim, and the various optimal file types that they should use when printing images and text.  There are a few other issues that an office print job can run into:
  • Missing pages
  • Streaks on pages
  • Not collated properly
  • No quality controls
  • Poor quality binding
The end result is often an amateur-looking print job—which can severely harm the reputation of your business if distributed externally. If you give potential customers sales materials that have printing, formatting, and finishing errors, how will that reflect in their opinion of your business?

Printing Help in New Bern

Cost, quality, and time savings are the three main reasons why many people still choose to have a professional printer run their job. Office printers still have their place in the modern office, but it’s best to let the professionals handle the important print jobs. If you’re ready to start your next project or have any questions about setting up your files for printing, give us a call. At AlphaGraphics of New Bern, we’re much more than a print shop. We’re also marketing experts who you can count on to help you when it comes time to market your business. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of New Bern can produce and design your next project, you may email usrequest a quote, or call us at (252) 633-3199.

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