Quantities – The Economics Of Printing

Printing EconomicsProfessional printing has countless benefits. First, there’s the crisp quality of the print itself – good quality printing always looks original, not like a duplicate or second hand copy. And going beyond quality, the most surprising thing about having printing done is that it is actually quite economical, especially when compared to trying to complete an oversize print job in house. It is important to understand the two major types of printing and how both have benefits and drawbacks when it comes to efficiency and cost savings.

Traditional Offset Press Printing Limitations

If you’ve ever had professional printing done in the past, you are probably well aware of the extensive process that is required with a standard printing press. With this process, individual printing plates of one form or another must be created for each and every unique page to be printed. Then there’s the test runs and individual color runs to get the machinery all perfectly setup and ready to run for each page or design.

Because of the extensive time consuming process of traditional printing, it is usually only worth all of the trouble and cost if a large quantity of printed goods will be required. It’s just not cost effective to do all of this setup and testing for printing runs of less than several hundred pieces. Of course, every printing company has their own specific standards and quantities that they use to determine the efficiency of long run printing. Limitations and all, it’s important to note that for large quantities, traditional four color offset printing is still the most effective way to get the job done.

Short Run Digital Printing

Since the 1990’s, there has been a new option for professional printing without all of the hassle of setting up the traditional printing press for each and every job. Thanks to improved computer technology and its integration with the printing process, digital printing is now commonplace. Basically, digital printing eliminates the need to create special plates for each different piece to be printed.

While the digital printing process is still not as efficient on large quantity jobs as standard press printing, it does have a huge list of benefits. Digital printing makes doing short runs very economical. It is now possible to print even just one or two items when necessary – all with the same professional quality results as offset four color printing. With digital printing, each printed piece can be different, making the technology very versatile. And for the eco-conscious folks out there, you’ll be pleased to know that digital printing produces significantly less waste than other methods.

Again, every printing company has unique rules when it comes to quantities and which type of printing they’ll use to keep the process as economical as possible. Depending on the quantity and number of colors of each individual print, the most economical way to get the job done will vary according to the job. It’s just good to know that there are now options!