Digital print applications and the postal stream are not always the best friends. The wear and tear that automated handling system used by the USPS can turn a eye catching personalized mail piece into scratched and marred piece of junk mail destined for the recycling bin.
A few years ago I attended a conference in which members of the postal service were asked to provide insight into how printers could work around the core causes of machine caused wear and tear. The major take away from the talk was that lack of handling system standardization (E.g the post office in Minneapolis might have different equipment then the post office in Atlanta) it was hard to provide a concise set of best practice for designing print applications around handling systems.
A new white paper from the Digital Printing Council at PIA/GATF aims to provide some insight into what happens when digital print applications are mailed. In Digital Printing and Survivability in the U.S. Postal System researchers at PIA/GATF came up with a basic test to analyze the issue:
The basic methodology for the study was determined: design a postcard, print it on various digital presses (with no coating) on 10pt C1S paper, then mail it from four different points of origin to PIA/GATF headquarters. Additionally, a postcard was also produced via offset lithography for control and comparison purposes. The full white paper details the results of this study.
To find out more about the study or request a copy, visit New DPC White Paper – Digital Printing and Survivability in the U.S. Postal System
Have you done your own research into digital print applications and the postal stream? What tips and ticks do you use in the design and production of mail pieces so they get to the recipient without unsightly blemishes?