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What is a Shell, and how does it Reduce my Costs of Corporate Business Cards?

One of the rewards of using® is the ability to take advantage of the master, or shell, program. What is a Shell or Master? The two terms are interchangeable in the printing industry. A shell is a pre-printed sheet that contains static or common unchanging art and text such as corporate logos, slogans, and 800 phone numbers that would be on commercial stationery, but leaves open areas for the future imprinting of variable information, such as names, titles, addresses, and local phone numbers. These shells will be printed in high volume and held for future use. By printing a large quantity of shells, you can take advantage of volume pricing. Significant saving can be achieved by imprinting small quantity orders on the shells verses printing small quantities of each complete card one at a time. Shells are generally done in lots of 4, 8, or 12-up depending on the need.

For example, if a corporation has a multi-colored logo on their business cards, the logo is printed ahead of time in the correct size with the correct positioning and colors. This ensures that all the cards are printed consistently. Then, when your company members need to order business cards, their information is printed on the shells in the correct typestyles, ink colors, positioning, etc. These cards are then cut and delivered.

This process is faster with complex designs because all that is needed is a simple imprint on the pre-printed shells.

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