Pictorico Premium DualSide Photo Paper
A Catalyst for Creativity, Freedom, Economy
TEXT AND IMAGES BY MARK GARTEN
Since Pictorico Ink Jet Media announced its
Premium DualSide Photo Paper back in March, photographers have
discovered their own creative, cost-saving applications for this
I love the paper's heavy weight, its semi-gloss finish, and the feeling of depth it gives the viewer. It's quite similar to the feel of Pictorico's Photo Gallery Hi-Gloss White Film and Photo Gallery Glossy Paper, with the obvious double-sided advantage.
I use an Epson 1270 to print just about everything, from promotional greeting cards to my portfolios, and thus far I'm very happy with the output quality. Unlike other papers I've used, the dual-sided paper doesn't flake—meaning small pieces of the coating coming off—because of its unique ceramic coating.
In the past, flaking had slowed down my workflow and production, because I had to repeatedly stop and reprint. Reprinting my limited-run promos—such as mini-portfolios, thank you notes, tri-fold mailers—was becoming very costly, in paper and ink costs, as well as time. So Pictorico's DualSide is both a time and money saver for me.
At one time, my promos were either commercially printed or produced in the darkroom. Printing them as often as I would have liked was prohibitive, so I decided to start producing them myself, printing on both sides, text and images.
For a while, there was only single-sided paper. I tried mounting two pieces together, but it soon became quite clear that this approach was too labor-intensive. When dual-sided papers became available, I started testing them. My images are color-, mood-, and movement-oriented. They're supposed to have that extra pop, but printed on these earlier double-sided papers, my images were too heavy in the blacks and blocked in the whites when the colors were correctly displayed.
When I found a dual-sided paper that had a semi-gloss finish, the texture was like someone running their finger nails across a chalkboard. The last thing you want is to have an art buyer cringe from touching your promo piece!
Ultimately, I ended up with a thin matte-finish paper that gave my images their pop, but the paper wasn't hardy enough to endure the mails.
Pictorico's entrance into this market has been a boon to my productivity. The fact that I'm able to correct my images once with ICC profiles, and maybe an extra tweak again, saves time and money. I've found that the ICC color profiles, now available free on www.pictorico.com, give me fast production and turnaround on these promo materials.
The paper has freed me to do many things to promote my business. I use it for greeting cards—which also work great for thank you notes and whatever you use a card for; mini-portfolios—which draw the most comments, by far; and all sizes and shapes of promos—including tri-fold direct mailers, postcards, and 4x9 direct mail pieces.
I'm finding that I'm able to create more elaborate promos because the paper is so versatile. In my business, I have gone to targeted mailings, avoiding "mass mailings" of commercially printed pieces in the hundreds or thousands. I use Quark, design a layout for the piece, and print it out.
Say there are a few images I want to use on a "remember me piece" to keep my name and images in front of the buyer. I will set up a 4"x9" mail piece on a 13"x19" paper, which gives me six promos per page. (This mailing size fits in a standard business envelope.)
I print out 10 pages, trim them, and mail them. If I've targeted 50 people, this leaves 10 for leave-behinds. At $3.50 per page to print, that's 60 cents per piece . . . and it only takes a couple of hours from start to finish. But if you have it printed at a place that does low-cost postcards, you'll pay around $135 for 500 pieces and get them back a month later.
I mentioned tri-folds earlier. Though a bit more complicated in design and more costly to produce, you end up with a more creative piece. The key here is you're able to place multiple images on a mailer without high printing costs and the inconvenience of storing all those unused pieces.