How to Start A Printing Press Business In Nigeria

How to start printing press in nigeria

We bring to you another informative article on how to start a successful printing press business in Nigeria.

Some projects will naturally sell themselves because of the fact that they will always be needed in society.

Schools, government organizations, private sectors, and individuals will always have a need to make use of printing press services.

While the Internet may be taking over many aspects of printing, some things are still preferred on paper. Banners, programs for special functions, birthdays, and holiday greetings are all still popular on paper.

Unless the celebrant is that stinking wealthy will he hand over a phone or tablet to be used as a program in his event.

The continuous improvement in technology has removed a lot of stress that getting a printing job out is just at your fingertips.

All you need is to have the knowledge of the basic need and pursue your dream. Printing business is a guaranteed means of making money because of its ease of establishment and operation. It is one of the hot business ideas in Nigeria today.

The printing business is a very productive and money-spinning business in Nigeria. Given the introduction of numerous features in printing machinery, printing is now easier to be done than it was some centuries ago.

Printing Press

A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium such as paper or cloth, thereby transferring the ink.

It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in which the cloth, paper, or other medium was brushed or rubbed repeatedly to achieve the transfer of ink, and accelerated the process.

Typically used for texts, the invention and global spread of the printing press was one of the most influential events in the second millennium.

The first movable printing machinery invented and developed by the Chinese between the years 1041 and 1048 was much unsophisticated compared to what we have today even though it could be described as a landmark in the printing industry.

Given the improvement in science and technology, there is a great advancement in the printing machinery introduced in the market today.

The invention of the printing press changed a lot of things in the world. It makes the preservation and transfer of historical records, scientific findings, and knowledge easy and possible.

Without it, education would have been difficult as there will be little or no documented records and findings for further research.

Literature and books might still be in the form of scrolls which were very cumbersome to carry. Nowadays there are plenty of companies using printing machinery every day.

As a beginner, it will as well do you good to ask questions from the sellers of the material, the operators of the printing press, and others that are experienced in the job of printing.

Before you give a price to a customer, make sure you know the cost of the material that will finish the job.

Operating a printing business requires a few specialized pieces of equipment, and can be operated as a home-based, storefront, or online business.

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Printing Methods

Know what type of printing you want to specialize in and plan accordingly. The following are types of printing methods:

Digital Printing

Digital printing is the reproduction of digital images on physical surfaces, such as common or photographic paper, film, cloth, plastic, etc. 

The Ink or Toner does not absorb into the paper, as does conventional Ink, but forms a layer on the surface. It generally requires less waste in terms of chemicals used and paper wasted in setup.

For the most part, toner systems beat inkjets in the long run, whereas inkjets are less expensive in the initial purchase price.


Flexography, often abbreviated to flexo, and also known as flexographic printing or surface printing, is a method of printing most commonly used for packaging.

A flexo print is achieved by creating a mirrored master of the required image as a 3D relief in a rubber or polymer material.

A measured amount of ink is deposited upon the surface of the printing plate (or printing cylinder). The print surface then rotates, contacting the print material which transfers the ink.

Flexo has an advantage over lithography in that it can use a wider range of inks and is good at printing on a variety of different materials.

Flexo inks, like those used in gravure and unlike those used in lithography, generally have low viscosity. This enables faster drying and, as a result, faster production; that means low cost.

Some typical applications for flexography are paper and plastic bags, milk cartons, disposable cups, and candy bar wrappers. Flexography printing may also be used for envelopes, labels, and newspapers.

Letterpress Printing

Letterpress printing also known as offset letterpress is a term for printing text with movable type, in which the raised surface of the type is inked and then pressed against a smooth substance to obtain an image in reverse.

In addition to the direct impression of inked movable type onto paper or another receptive surface, the term letterpress can also refer to the direct impression of inked media such as zinc “cuts” (plates) or linoleum blocks onto a receptive surface.

Mostly replaced by offset printing and other processes, letterpress printing is still used for some newspapers, books, and limited edition prints. Letterpress printing may also be used for printing business cards, letterhead, posters, and some forms.

Offset Printing

Offset printing is a widely used printing technique where the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface.

It is also called lithographic or planographic printing. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat planographic image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a film of water, keeping the non-printing areas ink-free.

Offset printing offers consistently high image quality. Offset printing produces sharper and cleaner images and types than letterpress printing because the rubber blanket conforms to the texture of the printing surface.

It is quick and the production of printing plates is easy. It has longer printing plate life than on direct litho presses because there is no direct contact between the plate and the printing surface.

Offset lithography is the most commonly used commercial printing process for the bulk of desktop publishing on paper. Offset lithography is used on both sheet-fed and web offset presses.


Rotogravure is a type of intaglio printing process, in that it involves engraving the image onto an image carrier.

In gravure printing, the image is engraved onto a copper cylinder because, like offset and flexography, it uses a rotary printing press. The vast majority of gravure presses print on reels of paper, rather than sheets of paper.

Because gravure is capable of transferring more ink to the paper than other printing processes, gravure is noted for its remarkable density range (light to shadow) and hence is a process of choice for fine art and photography reproduction, though not typically as clean an image as that of sheetfed litho or web offset litho. Gravure is widely used for long-run magazine printing in excess of 1 million copies

Gravure printing is often used for high-volume printing of packaging, wallpaper, and gift wrap using fast-drying inks.

Although less common, gravure printing may also be used for printing magazines, greeting cards, and high-volume advertising pieces.

Screen Printing

Screen printing also known as silk screening is a printmaking technique that creates a sharp-edged image using a stencil.

A screenprint or serigraph is an image created using this technique. A screen is made of a piece of porous, finely woven fabric stretched over an aluminum frame.

While the public thinks of garments in conjunction with screen printing, the technique is used on tens of thousands of items, including birthday cake designs, decals, clock and watch faces, and many more products.

Graphic screen printing is widely used today to create a mass or large batch-produced graphics, such as posters or display stands.

Full-color prints can be created by printing in cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Screen printing is often preferred over other processes such as dye sublimation or inkjet printing.

Screen printing can be used to print images on T-shirts, hats, CDs, DVDs, ceramics, glass, polyethylene, polypropylene, paper, metals, and wood.

Printing Machines And Design Softwares

Printing machines today are available in a number of sizes to suit different needs.

There are bigger sizes of printing machinery for heavy-duty printing or for big-time printing businesses.

There are also small and medium sizes for small and medium printing businesses.

The size of a printing machine determines to a greater extent the volume of printing that will be done in a day.

Heavy machines used for industrial purposes can print a lot of work per hour or on a regular basis when compared with small-sized printing machinery.

As noted above printing can be done on a number of mediums, therefore there are different types of printing machines for printing on different mediums.

There are printing machines meant for printing on a paper medium.

There are also some that can print on cloths and fabric. Some are multi-purpose meaning that they can print on a number of mediums.

Owing to the fact that printing machines make use of different printing techniques for different printing purposes, different types of printing machines today are available today.

Below are some of the common printing machines:

  1. Digital printers
  2. ink-jet printers
  3. screen printers
  4. heat press machines
  5. flexographic printers
  6. laser printer
  7. pad printers
  8. offset printers
  9. rotogravure printing machines

Each of the above-mentioned printing machines is meant to serve a particular purpose.

Consider your printing need or the type of printing you are doing before you order for your printing machine. In this way, you will avoid placing orders for the wrong printing machinery.

All types of printing machines are unique in their printing technology and as such do not all have the same parts all through. Printing machines are sold at different price ranges.

A number of factors such as the brand, the size, the type of printing done, the seller, and others determine the cost

To design print items for clients, you will need design software and a computer that can run it. Your choice of software and computer will depend on the type of printing that you intend on specializing in.

Your options can range from simple desktop programs – good for designing business cards and documents – to high-end specialized design programs – for drawing graphics.

Whichever program you choose, make sure your computer can run it smoothly. Also, make sure it comes with a wide variety of fonts. Customers may be picky on their font and it can lose you customers if you have a limited selection.

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Steps Starting A Printing Press Business

To start a successful Printing Press today, follow these steps below:

Step 1: Research and study the printing world

Before you start any business, you must study the rudiments of business and the particular requirements and processes of the business you want to begin.

Find out if there is a demand for printing services in your local community. Before you delve into this business, you should know printing services work.

A lot of competition does not necessarily mean you shouldn’t start your printing business, but you may want to narrow your focus or try to do most of your business nationwide on the Internet.

You should be familiar with color printing and how quality printing can be achieved in Dots per Inch (DPI). Furthermore, learn to use different printers and software for printing, so as to be versatile.

At this stage acquire some training in design and printing work too. However depending on the scale, you want to operate, you can as well get a graphic designer or artist.

But even if you do get one, I will still recommend that you have an idea of graphics designing since you will most times be the first contact of your customers.

A graphic artist does the designing and artwork of the printing work before it goes into the printing press. Always make sure you look for good ones.

Not all graphic designers are creative and you need a creative designer who would not just design but use his imaginative instinct to bring out the best in his design.

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Step 2: Pick a specialty

A specialty is a position of opportunity in any market. It is the best suitable place to stay in a competitive business environment from which you can make a contribution to the market.

In the printing world, there are various kinds of digital printing. Some of these include magazines, business or complimentary cards, books, signboards, t-shirts, banners, mugs, flyers, and calendars or almanacs.

As earlier mentioned, there are various printing methods you can choose from to achieve these digital printing.

It is best to pick not more than three kinds of printing, in order to specialize. Also, since you are just starting, it is cheaper to choose similar kinds of printing that require one kind of printer.

Step 3: Get your equipment and materials

Having chosen a specialty for your brand new printing press, the next thing is to choose your equipment.

At first, you may not be able to afford a lot of equipment, so may need to create a relationship with a local or Internet-based commercial printer.

This is essential if you will be selling banners and other large printed items. Equipped with the knowledge reaped during your research into the business of printing, choose to use the best equipment for your printing business.

I recommend you search for the best cost of printing press machine in Nigeria. That should be included in your research and study of the business.

Remember that what is used for billboard printing or car stickers is not what is used for printing regular A4 letterheads.

Some of the equipment and materials needed include but are not limited to the following: Printer, Computer, Internet access, Design software, Paper, card stock, Paper cutter, Toner, Bookbinders, Glue.

Step 4: Choose a good location

The next step towards starting a printing business is choosing a location for your business. This is a very vital step that will make or mar your business.

When choosing a location, choose a place that is easily accessible to customers. Also, choose a place that does not have exorbitant rent, so that you do not go broke paying your rent.

Furthermore, consider a possible long-term stay in that shop and neighborhood. If you are not comfortable with the environment at first sight, don’t expect that to change later.

Choose a place that is affordable, spacious, comfortable, and accessible.

Step 5: Registration

Your printing press business needs to be registered with all appropriate and necessary organizations.

This will give you confidence at work and you will have access to some benefits like acquiring loans or grants.

You will also be free of harassment from your competitors in the market and will be able to open a bank account in the name of your company.

Step 6: Publicizing

It is very important to publicize or market your services to the public, in order to make them aware of your new business. Marketing can be done by words of mouth or even over the internet.

You could advertise your expertise in printing on Facebook, Whatsapp, blogs, create a website for your business or display your work.

Not every client has a wide imagination, therefore it is essential to display samples of your various styles of printing. You could put them in an album or a brochure.

This will make it easier for customers to pick out what suits them best, as quickly as possible.

Market your new business with your printing proficiency. Create and print your own business cards, newsletter, brochure, and flyers.

Use these to promote your business. Hand them out to friends and family, and bring them to events that you participate in. Advertise in local publications to promote your design and printing skills.

Have you heard about this funny business quote I came across recently: “Doing a business without advertising is like winking at a beautiful girl in the dark; only you know what you are doing.”

What a nice way to capture the importance of publicizing! Marketing your printing services will attract more customers to your shop, increase your income and keep you in business.

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Step 7: Customer relation

Treat your customer well. Attend to them in a friendly way so that they can come back again and do business with you.  

The best way to sustain any business is to be great at it and keep customers satisfied.

You could have the greatest equipment and the most accessible shop but if customers keep leaving with complaints, it will have a negative reputation on your printing business.

Customers are the soul of any business and it is advisable to keep them happy at all times.

Research has shown that some people come to know of new businesses through family and friends who have patronized such businesses.

Usually, their perception of the business is a reflection of the experience of their friend, positive or negative.

So, always leave your clients satisfied, so that they will help you spread the news of how awesome your printing press is and recommend your business to others.

Be mindful of how you charge them too, do not do guesswork when giving prices because your clients wouldn’t listen to your complaints if you fail to give them the type of quality of job they want.

Since the money they will pay you is what you will use to buy the materials and finish the job, get an advance payment from them.

They can balance up when they picked up their item or when you delivered it to them, if the delivery requires extra cost, add it to the total cost of the job.

Summary of Printing Press Business In Nigeria

The printing business is one that is growing in Nigeria.

Although there are many practitioners in every corner there is room for newcomers and you stand a chance of standing out in the printing world if you follow the steps in this article and work diligently at staring your own printing business.

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