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What Is Commercial Printing?

Updated: Feb 23

If you’re a fairly new business owner, you may not know all the little tips and tricks to help you quickly dominate the market. Even though it has become a popular term, many people still wonder about commercial printing. So, what is commercial printing?

Here, we will discuss the commercial printing process and how it can benefit a business in the long run. You’ll get the opportunity to get an inside look into one of the most renowned marketing opportunities and decide if it's the right fit for you.

Knowing the ins and outs of this practice, you’ll learn how to incorporate it into your strategies to help your business grow. Regardless if you’re just a small start-up business or have already established your presence on the market, you’ll know how to use it to your advantage.

Continue reading to discover all there is to know about commercial printing and why you should invest in the process!

Commercial Printing
Source: Photo Contributor: terekhov igor

What Is Commercial Printing?

Commercial printing is the production of pre-determined prints for businesses and companies.

Depending on the product type and business niche, it usually comes down to high-volume printing without losing on quality. Even though some companies may have an in-house printer, it’s still a delicate process that requires careful planning and timely execution.

That’s why many business owners turn to professional printing services, like our team, to save both time and money.

Knowing that you can trust an expert to achieve high-quality results allows you the opportunity to tend to more important matters. Not only does it lessen the workload on the company, but it also ensures you get your money worthwhile.

What are the most commonly printed products?

The most commonly printed items we’ve come across usually include business cards, banners, flyers, catalogs, and other branded products. However, the type of product may vary depending on the business type.

Some of our more typical clients and their desired products include the following:

  • Hospitality sector: Menus, restaurant placemats, travel brochures, local maps, and keycard holders.

  • Medical industry: Educational brochures, instruction manuals, appointment cards, and insurance lists.

  • Real estate: Floor plans, newsletters, announcements, home sale flyers, direct mail, and for-sale signs.

  • Non-profit organizations: Newsletters, business cards, invitations, fundraising materials, posters, and notepads.

  • Publishing industry: Magazines, journals, catalogs, and flyers.

Types of Commercial Printing

After learning what commercial printing is, the next step is to understand the different types available. Even though we always try to keep up with modern times and use state-of-the-art technology, there’s still a difference between the printing types.

Since these techniques are used for various reasons, it’s important to know which is most suitable for your cause.

While some marketing strategies involve using only one, others can make use of a combination between them. In order to know which one fits you best, you must understand the use and application.

Here are the most common types of commercial printing that you may be interested in:

  • Offset lithography

  • Digital printing

  • Large format printing

  • LED UV printing

Offset lithography

The first type of printing you should know of is offset lithography. The prints are created by using wet ink and printing plates. After the ink has been placed on the plate, the image is transferred to a rubber blanket and then to the desired printing surface.

This process allows delicate and precise control over the colors, so the finished results are praised for their high-resolution and vibrant colors.

Furthermore, this method is best used for flat surfaces, whether plastic, cardboard, or paper. That’s why the most commonly produced items with this type of printing include posters, newspapers, brochures, and books.

A small downside to this process is that it usually requires manual labor. Thus, it’s typically more time-consuming than other techniques.

Offset lithography
Source: Photo Contributor: menogotowork

Digital printing

The second type of printing, which is also our specialty, is known as digital printing. With a rapid rise in popularity, this technique has discarded the printing plates and has turned to modern printing solution such as lasers and toners. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it also saves time by minimizing manual labor.

Moreover, it offers businesses and companies the opportunity for in-demand printing. This means that some professional services will keep your desired design in their database and print it whenever needed.

By minimizing the storage occupation and having your design ready to print at short notice, many businesses turn to this effective solution.

If you’re interested in investing in this type of printing service, always rely on a trusted professional. This way, you’ll know you’ll get the best possible results and make your investment worthwhile.

That’s why we have an expert, qualified team to ensure the whole process is done flawlessly and with the utmost precision.

Since digital printing can be applied to almost any desired product, various printed options are available. The most common items produced are customizable business products, banners, newsletters, labels, and point-of-sale items.

Large format printing

The next printing technique you should know of is large format printing. As the name implies, this type of printing involves large-scale format printing based on the client’s desired measurements. While it may sound like a normal printing process, it requires delicate planning and execution.

Not only is the whole process more difficult, but it also requires specialized equipment that’s suitable for dealing with wider dimensions.

That’s why at CityPress, we rely on our UltraChrome K3 technology combined with the extreme precision of our advanced print engines.

This type of printing is most suitable for businesses that are looking for a way to grab the audience’s attention, even from a distance.

Having a premium-quality large-format print not only showcases a company’s professionalism, but it will also leave a lasting impression on the passers-by.

That being said, some of the most commonly printed items that require this technique include billboards, exhibition graphics, banners, wallpapers, signage, and floor graphics.

The Commercial Printing Process

Now that you’re well informed about the types and printing process, here’s what hiring a professional printing service consists of:

  • Contacting a professional commercial printing service

  • Pre-press preparation

  • Production phase

  • Printing

  • Mailing

Contacting a professional commercial printing service

The first step in hiring a professional printing service is choosing the right provider. Since commercial printing is done in high volumes, even the smallest mistake can cost you heftily. That’s why it’s extremely important to communicate your thoughts and needs clearly and precisely.

If you still haven’t decided which service to choose, feel free to contact CityPress, and our team will happily guide you through the process.

Pre-press preparation

After you’ve come to a mutual agreement with the professional printing service, the next step is the pre-press preparation. During this phase, our expert team will be using state-of-the-art Windows and Macintosh hardware and software to create a suitable solution for your needs.

If you still haven’t decided on the look of your product, our team can help create an attention-grabbing design for you. Our expert graphic designers will take the time to figure out the creative work, typesetting, and layout that will best suit you.

On the other hand, if you’ve already settled on a design, you can easily share it with us with our online capability for file transfers. This way, we can start working on your print as soon as possible.

Production phase

Once the design has been taken care of, we’ll start the production of your desired product. Combining refined modern technology with professional expertise and experience, we’ll take all the necessary steps to turn your idea into reality.

Whether you need foil stamping and embossing, cutting or numbering, drilling or padding, we’ve got you covered.


As the most important step of the process, we take pride in creating premium-quality prints in just a fraction of the time. Our expert team specializes in quality color work, which will leave a lasting impression on the viewer.

As mentioned, we’re praised for our digital printing expertise, incorporating variable data printing with personalized printing.

Furthermore, we offer online services, including easily ordering, proofreading, approval, and printing your files directly on our digital printer.

Printing at CityPress
Source: Photo Contributor: zefart


Lastly, after the printing process has been completed, we offer mailing opportunities held to the highest standard. Thus, you can make use of our automated assembly and certified mailing lists. Not only is it affordable and convenient, but it’s also one of the fastest ways to mail high volumes of newsletters, brochures, and postcards.

Thanks to the modern computer software available, we can sort and barcode your mailing efficiently and with the lowest postage rates.


So, what is commercial printing? As mentioned, the process involves printing high volumes of products for various businesses and companies.

After taking a look into one of the most cost-effective and efficient marketing opportunities, you can easily decide if it’s the right fit for your needs and circumstances.

If you plan on investing in commercial printing services, contact us today. You’ll get the best possible results in a fraction of the time to further improve your marketing strategy.

Steve Bates

Steve is the president of CityPress and brings a wealth of knowledge from the printing industry to readers, helping them make more informed decisions in an ever changing printing space.


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