The importance of sustainability in printing

Eco-friendliness has never been more important. With our population continuing to grow and sea levels rising, the world has become more eco-conscious than ever before. Meanwhile, the publishing industry has had to reevaluate itself and its practices to help save our planet. Sustainability in printing is a hot topic for many publishers trying to decrease their carbon footprint. 

Sustainable development is happening across all industries, not just publishing. However, as an industry built on printing, it’s important to be mindful of the impact that irresponsible use of resources can have. A printing press can use huge amounts of natural resources each year, hence many presses like Minuteman Press have had to transform their business models to fit into our new sustainable world.

The Environmental Impact of Printing

Since a young age, we’ve known that paper comes from trees and while it might seem that trees are everywhere when you’re a child, they are actually pretty scarce. The UK publishes more books than any other country by capita in the world. We are a nation of book lovers, yet our solace is detrimental to our ecosystem. Paper manufacturing is the third-largest contributor to our atmosphere’s fossil fuel levels. 

Moreover, the sustainability problems within publishing go deeper. Each year hundreds of prints are discarded into the landfill. If you buy a book, ensure that you’re making the most out of it. Read it, pass it onto friends and share it with your family.

Recycled Paper

We all make sure to recycle our paper and cardboard right? While some have really gotten the hang of recycling, many still haven’t. As a publisher, we can decrease the amount of land-fill we create by recycling our scrap paper. After all, we each use on average 4.5 trees worth of paper a year. At Minuteman Press, we love books, the nostalgia of holding the pages of a gripping novel is amazing. Yet, if we can print in a more eco-friendly manner it would benefit all of us. 

Efficient Printing

When you plan a marketing campaign with print materials, don’t order thousands of copies if you are only logically going to use 200. Many companies will overestimate how many leaflets, flyers or booklets they will need for a certain campaign. In most cases, after the marketing campaign is through, the leftovers are wasted. 

At Minuteman Press, we can guide you through the print marketing process, helping you create designs and estimates for your campaign. To be eco-friendly is to consider the environment in everything you do, regardless of if it’s for business or personal reasons. 

Digital Printing

Digital printing is a much more sustainable alternative to traditional printing methods. Digital printers don’t require a printing plate meaning the job can be finished in a much shorter time. They also produce much less CO2 emissions in comparison to traditional printing. Furthermore, many digital printers use polymer-based inks, which do not contain any hazardous air pollutants. Not only does this make digital printing a sustainable option, but it is also a lot more cost-effective.

Sustainable Printing

Like many businesses, Minuteman Press is always trying new methods to decrease our carbon footprint and achieve sustainability in printing. If your business wants to align its sustainability efforts with its print marketing then digital printing is a brilliant option. SMEs love to use digital printing methods for their marketing because it offers a cost-effective solution to the eco-unfriendliness of printing.

If you’re curious about digital printing, get in touch with us. We can offer you advice and guidance on how to proceed with printing your products, from magazines to leaflets to business cards. We offer high-quality digital printing for your business.


The importance of calibration for printing

You have been working on a graphic project for days. Finally you are satisfied with the result, so you take it to the printers. But just when you are picking up your beautiful flyers, pictures or business cards… surprise, surprise. That was not the shade of blue you chose. And those orange elements were supposed to be yellow!

There are many reasons why what you see on your display is different from printed output:

  • Monitors reproduce colour in RGB, printing uses CMYK
  • In print, inks are printed in layers and can overlap so colours are different from individual pixels on your screen. The paper texture and colour also adds to this
  • Printed images do not have the same range, saturation and contrast as your display so may seem typically less vibrant and duller than on screen

Taking all this into consideration, we have to somehow standardise what we see and what is printed. This can be achieved, to some extent, by calibration. To calibrate means to check, adjust, to set the graduation, to determine the correct range, or standardise by comparing to a central commonly used standard.

In the printing industry there are various colour management systems, which have tools for calibrating displays, scanners, printers and even digital cameras – colour profiles are created and used by all these devices to make them understand each other.

If you want accurate and predictable prints, your monitor needs to be calibrated so that the images will be seen the way they were intended to be seen. If you cannot trust your monitor, then how can you or anyone else know that your printing will be accurate? All displays render images differently. Calibration helps to tune your screen to a reference standard and achieves consistency across all of your devices e.g. the PC, laptop computer, telephone or a computer tablet.

Calibrating your display is setting it up the way it is going to be viewed; the settings for calibration are brightness, contrast, gamma (2.2) and white temperature (6500K). Once these are set, then a colour profile is applied to your monitor and hey presto, you are ready to go. At Minuteman Press Bristol we use a Datacolor Spyder for all our monitors, which is a clever piece of kit that any colour sensitive professional can trust. We read and measure the actual colour values produced by our monitors and with the use of specialised software set our displays to the true colour standard.

Now, how about the printed output?

When you calibrate your printer, ideally, you should have a separate colour profile for each type of paper you use; coated heavy stock (gloss, matt or silk) handles colours differently from light uncoated papers.

When you replace consumables in your printer, or the humidity or temperature change, this will affect the colour reproduction. Minuteman Press Bristol’s digital presses are calibrated at least once a week to match the output of the Pantone Management System, sometimes even after just one longer print run, to keep our colours consistent.  We trust the EFI Spectrometer ES-1000, it is very easy to use, and in just a few minutes we know we can print true colours.

Please do not forget that calibration and profiling do not last forever. Monitors and printers change over time. To eliminate any outside influences and keep your colours accurate, you need to calibrate your printer regularly.


The Predominant Wish

The Predominant Wish, a Masonic Study by Major Ranulf Watkins-Pitchford, is a second edition hardback book, published by The Lodge of Living Stones.

Printed on 120gsm bond paper, hand sewn and case bound, this is the very first volume of The Lodge of Living Stones library proudly produced by Minuteman Press Bristol.

A print run of 150 books was commissioned by The Lodge of Living Stones to celebrate the installation of the new Worshipful Master.

To purchase the publication, please visit The Lodge of Living Stones.


Our Poster Printing Investment

Minuteman Press Bristol is delighted to announce further expansion in large format poster printing with the acquisition of the latest top-of-the-range 1,118mm width inkjet printer from Hewlett Packard.

Operating with eight colours and four print heads, the Hewlett Packard printer is capable of printing up to 1,118mm x 1,676mm and any bespoke size in between (ISO 216 paper sizes).

Minuteman Press Bristol director Peter Wise said: “Large format printing sales have exploded for us and this investment represents the opportunity to offer great quality, fast turnaround and despatch worldwide. This new HP printer represents the first in a series of planned investments in the large format sector”.


Is the BPIF Right?

The British Print Industry Federation (BPIF) voted to prohibit pre-pack companies from its organisation.

Peter Wise, director of Minuteman Press Bristol, said that he was more than happy with the decision and called for more organisations to do the same.

“It would be great if other organisations like the Federation of Small Businesses and the Direct Marketing Association followed suit, or even something like the Forest Stewardship Council could go that way,” said Peter.

Bristol Printers Reach Final of Printing Industry Awards 2008

Minuteman Press Bristol have been announced as finalists for a national print award in the Printing Industry Excellence Awards. Following a day of judging by a panel of industry experts, Bristol printers Minuteman were selected to be in the final shortlist of four (the long list was 19) in the Marketing category. The Printing Industry Awards are presented annually to UK based firms operating in the printing and supply of printed materials.

“These awards celebrate best practice in managing print business, highlighting the very best in class.” Michael Johnson, Chief Executive, British Printing Industry Federation.

“During my work as editor of Printing World and PrintBuyer I see marvelous examples of all kinds of print. Excellence awards give companies a chance to measure performance against peers and competitors.” Alison Carter, Editor, Printing World and PrintBuyer.

The result will be announced at the London Hilton, Park Lane on 30 June 2008.


We’ve Unveiled Our New Website!

Bristol’s design and print company Minuteman Press Bristol has launched it’s new website!

This is the second generation website for Minuteman Press Bristol. The first was introduced 14 months ago and the volume of unique visits has continued to grow month on month. Indeed, the growth curve has accelerated and this combined with sales originating from the internet has proven beyond dispute the commercial value of the net.

The Minuteman Press Bristol website is comprehensive, detailing products, services, clients, location, case studies and – importantly – our environmental protocol. Unlike the majority of commercial websites, this one is not all about business.

“We wanted to create a community, and in this way we have included a Bristol and West events section and regular product reviews,” said Ryan Smith, Minuteman’s graphic designer.

“What makes Minuteman Press successful is that we operate in a friendly and open way. Prices are provided up front, there are no nasty hidden design charges, we offer free delivery, we’re easy to talk to and our customers receive the result that they had envisaged… which is not always the case with the online market!” added director Peter Wise.