We’ve heard predictions of the death of the printed page ever since the invention of the word processor. But, as we know, the digital world has yet to finish off the centuries-old stalwart of ink on paper. And, it’s not likely to. The transportive, tactile quality of a well printed piece simply can’t be equaled by the undeniable sameness of everything we consume digitally. At this point, it’s almost trite to say that print is not dying. We think it’s more instructive to look at the ways digital technologies have reshaped print, making it more versatile and affordable.
There’s no better example than the development of a whole new type of printing press that serves a growing market known as “print on demand.” These presses are actually hybrids of high quality color copiers and conventional printing presses. Like copiers, they generate images electronically from downloaded digital files. Like conventional presses, they use liquid ink (actually liquid toner) that sinks down into paper and creates a finished product indistinguishable from traditional offset printing. This is crucial, because it does away with the shiny, melted plastic look that even the highest quality xerox copies have.
These new print-on-demand presses bring together the best of both worlds. They almost entirely eliminate the costly “make-ready” phase of traditional printing—where plates have to be made separately, hung on the press, and then the press run until everything is registered and looking the way it should. And, since, on-demand presses use liquid toner, they print beautifully on all different types of paper—smooth or textured, coated or uncoated, thick or thin, whatever you want.
The bottom line is that, while it’s not perfect for every situation, print on demand offers a number of significant advantages over traditinal offset printing…particularly when when smaller quantities of a high quality piece are desired.
Download our guide outlining 6 key benefits of print-on-demand. Keep it handy when considering your next campaign or project and take advantage of the next-generation of printing technology.