What is the difference between a trade bindery, a print finisher, and a graphic arts finishing company? The real answer is none. All of these names reflect the true nature of what a finishing company does. All of these terms are meant to refer to the company as a standalone business that does work for printing companies.
Though that is really the “tip of the iceberg” so to speak, in terms of what these companies do. We are really an extension of the printing company for whom we do the work. If you look at the way printing flows from a company to the consumer you will understand where a finisher fits in.
When a company decides they need printing done, they first contact a print buyer, an outside advertising agency, a print production company, or an internal agency. These four types of businesses then contact a printer who handles the printing of the job. Finally, the printing company uses either in-house print finishing or a trade print finisher. Traditionally, trade print finishing is meant for services that printers do not have in house or for quick turnaround or large quantity jobs that the printer is not able to produce in the time frame required.
Check out this chart to learn how printing gets finished!