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What are the benefits of using shells?

November 18, 2016 / Print & Direct Mail

Before we get to the benefits, just what is a shell, anyway?

In the print world, shells refer to preprinted products (typically business cards or stationery) that are stocked for future imprinting.

For example, a client might want to maintain a certain image for their materials, but may have multiple employees or locations to manage. This client should have shells printed that would include images and text that would remain static from piece to piece (i.e. company logo, license information, tag lines, etc.). These shells would be stocked at the printer’s facility, and when that client’s employee needs stationery, the shells are then run through the printer, only printing the variable information (i.e. employee’s contact information). (See diagram below)

What are the benefits?

Storing these preprinted items allows for quicker turnaround times particularly when the imprint is one color. The other colors can be set up, printed and stored, simply waiting on the imprint. This process also allows for color consistency since the static parts are printed at the same time under the same controlled conditions. Running large amounts of these shells makes the project cost-effective. Instead of paying for all of the colors and paper each time, the client pays initially for the bulk of the project, and another, smaller fee each time an imprint is needed.

Online ordering: 

Adding shells to an online ordering portal streamlines the process even further. Our portals offer an easy way for our client’s employees to add their own information on artwork templates. This system also allows the employee and/or client to see a proof of the piece they are creating. Once the employee approves the online proof, printed materials are quickly produced and shipped to the client. Having the setup and proofing process completed online provides the opportunity for projects to move through production with ease and helps ensure a consistent final product.

Having a system of preprinted and stocked items provides multiple advantages…

  • Set-up is done once for the multiple colors
  • Color and branding is consistent
  • The cost savings for large print runs is huge; pay for the initial print run up front, and then just the cost of the imprints as needed
  • Faster product turnaround
  • Works great for companies that order products for many different employees over a long period of time
  • Online ordering portals offer a quick and easy ordering process that streamlines production

Don’t delay, order today!

As you can see, there are multiple benefits of having shells ready to print at a moments notice. Are you ready to make life a bit easier for yourself and/or your company?

Contact our printing experts today!