When most people think of copiers and printers, they think of paper. While it’s true that the majority of print users focus on the most widely used print material on the global market, there is no reason to stop there. Modern printers are designed to handle more than regular printer paper. There are many kinds of specialty media available for creative print users who want to create something special.
These materials can have a variety of business uses. Printed stickers, promotional cards, and canvases can all be created using specialty media. These high-quality marketing materials are guaranteed to stand out when compared with paper alternatives, and some are uniquely suited to special tasks like outdoor signage.
Beyond Regular Paper: Types of Specialty Media to Print On
When it comes to specialty media, wide format printers tend to be far more forgiving then office printers. Most specialty print media choices are compatible with state-of-the-art wide format print equipment.
To be perfectly fair, some kinds of specialty media are made of paper, but with different qualities, thicknesses, and use cases. There are also specialty media types that are very far from paper, all of which are compatible with most wide format printing products we carry.
- Adhesive Labels. Wide format self-adhesive material printing is an easy way to create a large number of name tags, sample tags, price tags, and other adhesive materials. There are multiple kinds of adhesive labels available, including permanent, removable, and repositionable options. Additionally, these labels can feature specialty liners and finishes.
- Recycled or Embedded Card Stock. Card stock is a type of thicker, more durable paper stock. In terms of flexibility, it stands somewhere between printer paper and paperboard. Technically, any paper that weighs between 50 and 110 pounds per square meter qualifies as card stock. Embedded card stock printing creates a unique visual quality that complements the unique texture of the card.
- Magnets. Custom magnet printing is a simple way to create memorable marketing materials and souvenirs. Wide format printers designed to handle magnet stock can print out hundreds of copies of small refrigerator-style magnets, then feed them through a finishing cutter that organizes them into small easy-to-give gifts.
- Aluminum. Photos printed on aluminum feel like high-end contemporary art pieces. Aluminum is far more durable than paper, and offers a wide variety of interesting visual options like high-contrast printing with white-primed aluminum. Metal photo prints are light and durable, but susceptible to moisture.
- Wood Veneer. For a memorable business card, menu, or plaque, replace paper card stock with wood veneer. This is a paper-thin slice of wood taken directly from logs and processed into smooth sheets. Wooden cards, posters, and prints are light, durable, and eye-catching, as the final result retains wood’s marbleized interior pattern and texture.
- Vinyl. Printing on a synthetic surface like vinyl is possible with the latest wide format printing equipment. Vinyl is the material of choice for creating outdoor signs and durable construction plans for on-site work. Vinyl is weatherproof, damage-resistant, and inexpensive, making it ideal for these types of environments.
- Fabrics. Textile printing can often be achieved with commercial wide format printers, so long as the fabric is made sufficiently rigid before printing. Polyester is a common option, but it is also possible to print directly on cotton, denim, and other common commercial fabrics. Print users can do more than make clothing – soft signage and flags are also achievable results.
- Tyvek. Tyvek is a construction material that most people are familiar with from USPS express mail packaging. It is tear-resistant but easy to cut, and permeable to water vapor but not liquid water. As a result, it’s often used for commercial air and water barriers, as well as construction wrapping and underlayment. Wide format printers can print branded messaging on Tyvek.
The Sky Is the Limit When It Comes to Specialty Media
Whether creating attractive marketing materials or lifelike photographs, choosing the right print media is as important as choosing the right printer. Kelley Imaging has solutions that include everything from photo paper printing to creating one-of-a-kind prints on foil card stock and linen surface cover stock.
With a broad range of print equipment and specialty inks that include metallic gold and silver options, our team is ready to put itself to work creating memorable printed materials.
Start printing on specialty media using state-of-the-art equipment backed by specialist expertise. Contact our printing services team to get started!