Offset printing, digital printing, commercial printing, short run printing, and on demand printing what does this all mean?
To clarify, offset printing and digital printing is by definition printing techniques.
The first is a traditional sheet fed printing where the image is transferred or offset from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface with manual ink keys that are adjusted by a skilled pressman to set colors. Digital printing follows the same process but is computer adjusted to digital file specifications. Both requiring ink and water to make the impression. Additionally there have been advances with inkjet and laser printing such as the Konica Minolta bizhub C8000 or the Xerox 800 Press.
Commercial printing, short-run printing and on-demand printing are defined by the size of your finished piece and the number of impressions of the project.
Commercial printing commonly refers to web presses and large sheet fed presses are usually based on size. The number of units place on a sheet or the finished size. “The smaller press delivers a typical printing sheet of 14" by 20", the larger press will deliver a 20" by 29" size, and the most advanced in the market today delivers a 29.5" x 41" sheet. While many commercial printers started with a one- or two-color press, once successful they gradually upgrade to more color units to accommodate customer needs.” As defined by GLG Research.
Typically a short run refers to 300-2,000 impressions, ultra short run 50-500 and on demand 1-100 impressions. In our rapid turn-around environment having a good relationship with a local printing service will serve you best. Consulting with them about your product before the design can save time and money as well as deliver a quality product
About the Author: Thomas Miner is president of Bartleby Press and Austin Texas printing service.