What is pressure What are some examples

Printed matter

Definition: what are print products?

By definition, print products are all types of printed products. This results in a great variety from 3D printing to printed clothing to printed information sources: Depending on the printing process and, last but not least, the printing material, the products of the print can differ greatly. In contrast, the so-called new media appear in digitized form (e.g. CD-ROM, e-book, online publications).


What print products are there?

Books and magazines come to mind immediately on the subject of printed matter. But the market also offers numerous other products that can differ greatly in terms of their shape and manufacture. The decisive factors in the design are the printing process and substrate. Therefore, the following paragraphs provide an overview of the options that are available and some examples of the variety of print products.


Differentiation based on the printing process

With the invention of letterpress printing - more precisely: the movable type for it, which he produced in series - Johannes Gutenberg laid the foundation stone for the mass production of printed products in the 15th century. Today the process is rarely used because it is time-consuming and costly. In addition, both the writing and the paper can bear traces of the mechanical stress in the printing press, which is generally perceived as a disadvantage. Other common printing processes and their features are:

Digital printing
  • Printing process without touching the substrate, e.g. B. Inkjet
  • qualitatively inferior to offset printing
Flexographic printing
  • works with elastic printing forms
  • dominates packaging printing
Offset printing
  • is based on the mutual repulsion of fat and water
  • The main printing process that is the most mature in terms of quality and production technology
screen printing
  • Paint application through a fine-meshed fabric
  • Shaped objects can also be printed
  • relatively slow process
  • works with printing forms in which the parts to be printed are indented (engraved)
  • high quality, especially in the gradation of the shades
3D printingConstruction of three-dimensional objects by applying many two-dimensional layers of a solid or liquid material


Differentiation based on the printing materials

One is tempted to say: Everything can be printed. This is, of course, a bit of an exaggeration, but there are actually numerous materials that can be used as substrates. Here is an overview:

  • cotton
  • sheet
  • stainless steel
  • foil
  • Glass
  • Woods and veneers
  • carton
  • Ceramics
  • Plastics
  • leather
  • lycra
  • Paper (various types)
  • polyester
  • satin
  • silk
  • viscose
  • Wool


Examples of printed matter

As indicated in the definition, there are many examples of print products. Because print is involved in the production of various everyday objects. And so surprising products are sometimes designed in print; some examples include the following:

  • 3D printed products such as plastic cards with magnetic strips, parts for mechanical engineering
  • Banknotes
  • Books
  • Labels
  • electronics
  • Business reports
  • Textiles, e.g. B. T-shirts
  • packagings
  • Business Cards
  • Advertising material such as flyers (handouts) or posters
  • Newspapers and periodicals or magazines


Do all print products need an imprint?

The press laws of the German federal states prescribe an imprint for all print products. So-called harmless printed works such as price lists or program slips from cultural events are usually excluded from this. However, there is no nationwide uniform legislation. For detailed information on the imprint obligation, it is always advisable to consult the press law of your own federal state.


Mandatory information in the imprint of a print product

The press laws of the federal states also regulate the mandatory information in the imprint of a print product. Therefore, the following also applies here: Detailed information should always be taken from the legislation of your own state. The requirements from Section 8 of the Press Act for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia provide an example of the mandatory information in an imprint. Here is an overview:

Type of print productMandatory information in the imprint
1. all print products, which appear within the scope of the law
  • Name or company and address of the printer
  • Name or company and address of the publisher
  • self-published: name or company and address of the author or publisher
2. periodical printed matter
  • Name and address of the responsible editor
  • several editors are responsible: Name or company and address of each editor
  • Each editor's area of ​​responsibility
  • Name and address of the person responsible for the advertising section

(in addition to 1.)

3. Newspapers and follow-up newspapers, who regularly take over entire pages of the editorial partResponsible editor and publisher of the part taken over (in addition to 1.)
4. Secondary or sub-editions of a main newspaper, especially head newspapers, district or local editionsPublisher of the main newspaper (in addition to 1.)


Which rate applies to the taxation of print products?

The full sales tax rate (19%) and the reduced sales tax rate (7%) apply to the taxation of print products. In general, the full rate applies to products that are primarily used for advertising or that contain little or no text. Books and informative formats are taxed at the reduced rate. The following table shows the assignment in detail.

Taxation with full sales tax rate of 19%Taxation with a reduced sales tax rate of 7%
Advertising printed matter:
  • Posters
  • Brochures
  • Catalogs
  • Customer magazines

Print products that contain little or no text:

  • sticker
  • ID cards
  • Image prints
  • Stamp albums
  • Letterhead
  • Invitations
  • Forms
  • greeting cards
  • calendar
  • Notebooks
  • Postcards
  • Tickets
Books and informative formats:
  • brochures
  • Books: also picture books, photo books and coloring books
  • cards
  • grades
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers

In addition to the product type, the type of order also decides which rate of sales tax (colloquially: sales tax) the customer of a printing company has to pay. The reduced rate applies to a work delivery, but the full rate applies to a work performance. Even if an order for printing and binding is issued separately, different rates apply. The taxation of ancillary services such as transport and packaging, in turn, depends on the tax rate of the printed product.

The correct application of taxation is important for both the customer and the printer: the customer can only apply the actually valid rate for the input tax deduction - if the full rate is incorrectly calculated instead of the reduced rate, he is still only allowed to deduct the reduced rate. And if the wrong sentence is entered, the printer is threatened with complaints from the customer and additional claims from the tax authorities. In case of doubt, it is therefore advisable to seek legal advice on the taxation of print products.


What is the postage cost for print products?

The postage for print products is calculated depending on the type of publication. In total, Deutsche Post AG divides commercial print products into four categories, which are sent at special conditions. Here is the overview:

  1. Mail sales item to disseminate media coverage: z. B. Magazines and newspapers that provide information on current issues and do not pursue any direct business interests
  2. Press broadcast: Company's customer, employee and investor magazines
  3. Wrapper newspaper: Press products in small to medium quantities
  4. International press: Newspapers, magazines, books and brochures

The exact prices must be calculated on the basis of more detailed information. This includes dimensions, weight and the number of issues to be sent.

It is worthwhile for private customers to check whether they can send their mail as a book item. You may not enclose a detailed written notification, but you may, for example, enclose the delivery note or a return label. Books can be mailed to Deutsche Post AG in:

  • brochures
  • Books
  • Maps
  • music sheet

This article first appeared on November 14, 2018.