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Operational Printing refers to the printed materials a business uses to assist with day-to-day operations. Examples of operational printing include business cards, letterhead, envelopes, single and multi-part forms (such an invoices, statements, contracts, order blanks, requisitions, and employment applications), product and shipping labels, memo pads and notepads, index tab sets, and so on.
Some operational items - like business cards and stationery - are seen by customers, vendors and others external to the firm. Thus, they should be printed to reflect well on the company’s image. For this reason, business cards, letterhead, and envelopes are commonly printed with colored ink, especially when incorporating the company logo. Sometimes these items are even printed in full color, but more often they are printed with just one or two ink colors.
However, the majority of operational items are designed to be used solely by managers and workers within the firm and thus focus on functionality rather than appearance. Operational items used internally are usually created using a single ink color, most commonly black.
The main goal of an Operational piece is to increase business efficiency. Employees spend a large percentage of their time handling and referencing operational documents, so it is critical these items are designed properly. Also, operational documents should be re-evaluated periodically to ensure they reflect any changes in internal operations.