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moving away from standard church bulletin
I have been doing our church bulletin for a while and it has evolved into a beautiful piece of design, if I may say so myself However, due to budget cuts etc, we are going to have to look into other routes or methods of accomplishing this task. WE were doing a trifold, legal sized paper, printed off-site (local school with awesome printer) and prints were fairly inexpensive. They looked really great. However, now we are having to print in-house and that's just not going to cut it. So... we need to simplify and streamline. I'm not sure what our options are.. maybe going to a double-sided half sheet of paper with featured events and news and have info cards available for consistent information?
We were also doing video news but as a volunteer, it was taking too much time. Maybe going to simple powerpoint slides would be more ideal.
We send out a weekly e-newsletter, update on Facebook and keep our website updated but we realize not everyone in our church is web savvy...
I'd love to hear suggestions for this! Thanks!
Lifegate Church media department - mylifegate.org
We use a single sheet front and back.
Esoteric Visions Lighting and Video
A/V/L designers, installers, and integrators for churches. 15+ years of industry experience.
Whichever format you go (trifold legal, single fold letter), try to lay it out so you only need color on one side and then limited to things that stay the same week to week. Then you can possibly get a good deal having this printed offsite and use those as blanks to just print the weekly information in black.
Otherwise, invest in a decent color laser printer. Defiantly avoid inkjet! While the initial price and the cost for consumables seems higher, the output per consumable is much greater. Lower end lasers, well, you get what you pay for IMO. Also look for ones that have a high yeild toner cartridge available. I myself like the Oki line of laser printers. I can get a 3,000 sheet toner for one price, but for about 33% more cost can get one that is 6,000 sheet toner
(speaking of ratings, usually do not plan on this matching what you will actually get, if you read the fine print they usually say something like "based upon 10% page cover", which for publications, you most of the time go over).
If you must go InkJet, get one that has separate color tanks/cartridges. If you print a weeks worth of bulletins that is mostly blue, why throw away mostly unused other colors when you replace the blue?
Check the settings on your printer, usually they will have a "toner saver" mode. Give a few tests in both modes and compare. Have someone else compare (when you look at it constantly, you can tell the difference more). Some printers to the "average" person look just as good in toner saver mode.
Oh yeah, this should be for any computers, but if you go laser route, it (and it's supply of paper) should be in a temp/humidity controlled room, preferably with very very little dust. Printing on a laser printer heats the paper up to a few hundred degrees, and if you are printing on both sides, having paper that is humid is the best as it tends to curl it some.
If you do go the route of having the color portion printed outside, and are only going for B&W in house, depending on what type of copier you have, it may be worth it to print the B&W weekly onto a blank piece of paper, and make copies onto the color blanks.
Those are just some quick tips/idea from used do do more print type work years ago, (I remember when switching from a 9pin to 24pin printer just made all the difference in printing newsletters).
The practice is worth it!
Wow thanks for all the info Greg! I appreciate it.
This week we planned to do a double sided half sheet of paper with only pertinent weekly info, directing everyone to the website for more events and information. Took out all the consistent information and church mission/vision etc.
I like the idea of having the color side printed and printing black and white in house also.
We'll see how this goes! Thanks!
if you have a good commercial copier, it has worked out (for us) to be cheaper to print one bulletin, then copy that master as many times as needed.
we also get our bulletin paper from some company with a cover page pre-printed in color. (the name of the company eludes me...tons of churches use the same company).
our system is actually working out great for us. our "bulletin" (we call it "info card") is really minimal, but still looks good. uprinting.com offers a product called Rack Cards that have a perforation. these are 4x9 with the last 2" or so being perforated for easy removal. we put all of the "give us your prayer requests" and "we want your contact info" (not the language we use) on the bottom section. the top of the front side has our series branding on it, and room for notes. We buy these in bulk for each series to save on cost.
the back of the card we leave blank from the printer. we then update the back of the card every week by printing the week's announcements. if you email me i can send you an example of what im talking about (email@example.com).
You said you are already doing a lot on the web, but how about a QR Code at each entrance to your sanctuary and on the screen before the service urging people to shoot it for a automatic download of the bulletin to there smart device. If it catches on it could save some printing.
We do ours on a slightly larger scale, but all in-house. We were printing on a Xerox ColorCube, but I think we've moved to something else that's a bit less expensive to print with. We moved from the tri-fold to two-fold booklet 6 or 7 years ago, then to our current, larger "magazine style" two-fold a few years ago. The design is all done in Adobe InDesign (with the exception of the graphics themselves, which are done in Photoshop and Illustrator).
We also put it online using Issuu, which is cool as it looks identical to our print version but all digital (also, no messy downloading PDFs). Here's our may Connect Magazine - http://issuu.com/bethelsarnia/docs/may_connect_web2
Edit: Oh, also we do it monthly instead of weekly. This allows us to better advertise upcoming events and such, as well as include small articles from our pastors or messages from sponsored missionaries.
Producer, Bethel Sarnia - Freelance Operations, CTV