Grabbing someone’s attention in a pile of today’s mail takes creativity. When it’s done right, your project moves to the top of the “noticed” list. Your goal is to get your client to open your printed piece from the moment they see it by presenting them with a unique visual experience. That first impression can be a lasting one and can make the difference between getting a reply or having the piece forgotten altogether.

This visual impact sets the tone and importance of your law firm marketing project, which could be an invitation to your city’s art museum for a private viewing of a new exhibit or a law firm announcement. This type of special project deserves putting your best foot forward.

Digital printing allows you to make a visual impact with less cost. Technology in this area has come a long way, and it can be the key factor that takes your printed piece from average to impressive. With so many new inline features on digital presses, you can make your collateral piece stand out.

Digital Printing: A Brief History

When digital printing came on the market in the early 1990s, it offered a low-cost, quick-turnaround option for full-color short-run printing. This cost-effective process was often used for simple brochures, invitations, cards and small posters.

Small on-demand, short-run machines moved into the office to allow for quality short-run products, giving your law firm marketing department the ability to keep materials up to date without printing — and wasting — large quantities. The files for these materials are often housed on internal servers or the firm’s website, making it easy to update current information for existing brochures or branded pocket folders.

The next phase added variable printing to the mix. More and more offset print vendors added high-end digital presses, allowing law firms to insert custom fields in a design to “personalize” a printing project. This personalization — placing your client’s name in the announcement or invitation, for instance — has more importance when received by your client or prospect.

It moves your printing away from a typical mass mailing look and feel, and elevates your firm’s special mailing.

New Technology = New Techniques

Today, printing vendors with large, high-end digital presses can do so much more in greater quantities and faster turnarounds. No longer are we restricted to printing on white paper with an uncoated or coated stock at a limited paper weight or size. The new line of digital equipment and paper substrates offer larger paper sizes and take digital printing to a whole new level. Visually, paper sets the tone for the overall appearance and design of your finished project and can attract the recipient's attention from the start.

Digital equipment now has added features to make your law firm collateral pieces stand out, including:

  • High-quality color-matching capabilities with the use of fluorescence and metallic inks.
  • Invisible yellow for security uses or red ink that can be seen under UV light.
  • Easy-release (scratch-off) ink to reveal codes or solutions.
  • Vivid colors to enhance traditional CMYK inks.
  • Printing white ink on a dark color or metallic paper stock, for a reversed visual effect. This can also be used to add color on top of the white for a full-color image.
  • Adding texture and dimension by using clear ink to create raised/textured printing within the design. This is accomplished by putting multiple layers of the clear ink over the same spot until the desired depth and effect is reached, changing the look and feel of the project. It gives your digital project a higher-end look that used to require traditional offset printing techniques.
  • Print compatibility with a wider variety of stocks, including plain, coated or uncoated papers; magnetic, metallic or plastic materials; wood veneers; heat transfers; and translucent stocks, to name a few.
  • In-line finishing for a final product that does not have to go to an additional assembly station for folding or saddle-stitching.
  • Less waste and more environmentally friendly processes thanks to Electroinks.

These new features in digital printing allow you to take a special short-run law firm project to the next level with a more cost-effective option than traditional offset printing. And working with your creative agency can give your project an innovative design that never could have been achieved before for short-run projects.

Interested in discussing how digital printing fits into your next project? Contact Alan E. Singles, Director, Marketing & Graphic Services, at