Every day, citizens flock to computer super stores and office mega malls looking for the cheapest and easiest paper printer to use. Not too hard to find these days, these printers are everywhere! Ranging from $79 up to $399 if you get all the bells and whistles. I think the $399 model does the thinking for you too, not sure.
Anyway, what does this have to do with labeling CDs? Everything! Consumers are coming into CD printing much the same way they approach paper printing, but one thing stops them in their tracks every time: COST. Cost to distribute their message to the masses. Hardware costs can range from $999 for a 1200×1200 ink jet printer, all the way to $5,995 for a full color Thermal printer. What a reality leap.
Typically there are two types of customers, the ones who are looking for graphics like you used to see on a 1960 conversion van, or see on today’s high tech skateboard. Not as much concerned about volume as they are about image. The other just wants to get Sunday’s message listed clean, crisp, and fast.
Two types of products can meet the first customer’s demands: ink jet or micro dry technology. Ink Jet offers 24-bit color, providing the user the ability to create vibrant images. The downfalls to ink jet are slow print times, dull images, and being that it is a water-soluble product, susceptibility to running or bleeding. Micro dry technology fuses a resin based product from a thermal transfer ribbon, leaving a print that is permanent and breathtaking. The technology is very clean but can be costly from a consumables and hardware standpoint.
Thermal printing is for customers who simply want spot color, fast prints, and an image that will stay with you for the course of time. It’s very popular in the church market today in that it does a print in approximately 15 seconds, or about 4 CD/DVDs a minute, 240 CD/DVDs an hour.
It’s great for those churches that want to hand off a professional looking CD/DVD to parishioners as they exit their church. Thermal technology is not inexpensive from a hardware standpoint though. A good thermal printer will cost between $2,995 and $3,995 for the printer itself (www.telex.com/duplication). Supplies will cost between .04 and .18 cents a print, depending on the ribbon or if you are adding color to the print. But think of the image your congregation will have when they walk out that door, and talk to their friends about the message they just heard! In this day and age, the value of expression is undeniable, and thermal printers bring that to the masses, and fast!
Many have toiled over the idea of creating a $199 CD printer, but it just hasn’t happened. Consider your church’s needs today, factor in the costs for the printers available, and budget accordingly.
And, as with anything else, make sure you purchase a printer product from a company that you can trust to support you. CD printing will require some start up support, so make sure that your investment is as important to the company you bought from, as it is to you. The printer of today can be a viable tool; not only for the people who attend each message, but also for the church itself as it grows into a more visible entity. Be wise when you choose the printing technology for you or your church, and if you aren’t sure, ask yourself…
To print or not to print, is paper labeling the answer? I sayeth not.