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Different Types of Printing Services (Digital, Sheet-Fed, Offset, and more!)

Posted on Commercial Printing, Digital Printing, Solo Printing, South Florida November 26, 2019 by Taylor Jacoby

Different Printing Services South Florida

Whether you’re looking for a printing service company to print high quality brochures, catalogs, magazines, restaurant menus, or any other small/large projects, there’s wide range of professional printing services to choose from! With Solo Printing’s state-of-the-art equipment, we ensure our Florida printing services will achieve and surpass all your expectations! Now let’s explore all the different types of printing services.

Digital Printing

What is Digital Printing?

Digital printing uses high-resolution digital-based files to produce the image on the paper. This is in contrast to traditional offset printing, which relies on giant metal sheets that host the image.

You probably have a personal ink jet printer at your house that you use for small home digital print jobs. The type of digital printing service that we offer uses the same concept, except we’re able to produce much higher quantities at a much higher quality by experienced printing pros (we’ve been printing since the 80’s).

Recently, we upgraded to the powerful Xerox 1000i digital press. The 1000i is notorious for high quality prints that rival the colors of traditional offset printing.

Benefits of Digital Printing

It’s Easier to Order Smaller Quantities

The setup for offset printing is extensive, and it includes plates that aid in transferring ink to the page via a blanket. People sometimes pick offset printing for very large commercial runs requiring few or no changes. Requesting a small order from a company that only does offset printing may result in inflated costs because of the time and specifics for the offset printing process.

Sheet-fed or web offset printing may produce the highest level of quality, but it might not be cost-effective unless you’re ordering a large number of prints. Typically, digital printing costs less for smaller print jobs.

More Variations Are Permitted

Digital printing is a great solution if you have variable data, such as a situation where it’s necessary to print something different on each page. That’s not possible with offset printing, so digital printing provides more flexibility. Digital printing could be the best option if you’d like to print small batches of various kinds of flyers or other print materials before determining which one looks best.

Faster Turnaround Time

As you might imagine based on the equipment used for offset printing, digital printing offers a quicker turnaround time. Although the timeframe for your results will vary depending on the printing company’s workload, whether supplies are immediately available, and other factors, you’ll generally find that the completion time for a digital printing project is shorter than the alternative.

Sheet-Fed Printing

While most people are only interested in the result, it is important to know how each project is printed to ensure an exceptional finished product. The printing process is essential to the final result, affecting the outcome and making it crucial to utilize a printing service with the professionalism and experience to deliver the highest quality every time.

Since sheet-fed printing is an important piece of the process, let’s discover exactly what it is and when it should be used to meet your printing needs.

What is Sheet-Fed Printing?

If you don’t know what sheet-fed printing is, you are not alone. When planning your next project, it is important to be aware of the available printing techniques. The truth is, if you have had lots of projects printed, you’ve probably had some projects created with the technique known as sheet-fed printing.

Sheet-fed printing is a premium quality of lithography, which utilizes manually fed sheets of paper or a continuous feed roll that can be cut as needed. The name says it all, the paper is being fed into the printer. Sheet-fed printing is different than web printing in which it uses rolls of paper to continually feed into a web printer and cut when the printing has completely finished.

When Should Sheet-Fed Printing Be Used?

Sheet-fed printing is ideal for small to medium print projects. Most professional printers don’t even offer web printing on these size projects. Common sheet-fed print projects include:

  • Letterhead
  • Stationery
  • Business cards
  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Custom business forms, and more

Sheet-fed machines aren’t as fast as web printing presses, but sheet-fed machines don’t require as much manpower, set up easily compared to web printers, and won’t stop your project in its tracks if an issue arises.

While web printing presses offer increased functionality, they are heavier, costlier, louder, and have increased power requirements. If something goes awry in any step of the printing process, the entire project will come to a complete stop. With a sheet-fed printer, if the cutter or folder stops functioning, your print job will continue unabated. The bottom line here – sheet-fed printers are best when your project needs to be high quality and completed in a timely fashion.

What are the Benefits of Sheet-Fed Printing?

Sheet-fed printing gives you more options with the highest quality outcome. The benefits include:

  • Specialty finishes:
    • Varnish- Gloss, Dull, and Matte
    • Aqueous- Overall, Gloss, Matte, Dull, and Soft-Touch
    • UV- Spot and Overall Gloss, Matte, Dull, Textured, and Glitter
  • Flexibility: Sheet-fed printing offers a higher degree of flexibility
  • Speed: Printing can execute up to 15,000 impressions per hour

With all these great benefits, sheet-fed printing is the solution to an exceptional final product. Sheet-fed printing also means less waste, and less prep and set up time.

Benefits of Sheet-Fed Printing

Automated Process

Sheet-fed printing might sound like a manual task, but it is actually heavily automated. The machine used for this type of printing will feed the sheets automatically, which also allows for more flexibility in product size.

Small feet within the machine will pick up the paper and feed it through the press. Rollers keep it moving through until the grip pieces grab hold of the paper. This fully automated process improves efficiency while driving down the cost. Better yet, you’re not restricted to a single paper size, and you can choose your dimensions from paper measuring up to 120 by 160 inches.

Specialty Finishes

With sheet-fed printing, your finished products can have specialty finishes for added flair. Options include gloss, matte, and dull finishes, which can make your piece stand out. Create an even glossier finish with aqueous soft-touch materials. You can also get a UV finish, which offers spot or overall gloss, dull, textured, matte, and glitter finish options. Sheet-fed presses can easily handle the unique finishes that you need for your project.

Faster Printing

A sheet-fed printing press can print very quickly, making it easy to get many copies of the same piece. The efficiency of the press also makes the printing process less expensive, which is helpful when you’re printing in volume. Sheet-fed printing machines can also handle all types of products, from small postcards to full-size calendars and everything in between.

Web Offset Printing

If you have a major printing project approaching, you’re going to want to take a look at web offset printing.

What is Web Offset Printing?

The process of Web offset printing involves continuously feeding a roll of paper through a printing press. This is different from sheet-fed printing which uses individual pieces of paper that are precut and then fed into the press. Once the pages have been printed onto the roll of paper, it’s either folded by signature or separated and cut to size.

When it comes to images, this type of printing job requires that you print the image you wish to reproduce onto a plate, which is then pressed onto a rubber blanker that is rolled onto the material, and ultimately creates the image on the paper. This is where the term offset comes from.

Most commercial printing for catalogs, magazines, and books is done on web offset printing presses. In web offset printing, text and images are put on plates. After that, they’re transferred to a rubber blanket and then to paper. Web offset printing doesn’t produce any harmful chemicals, and it’s ideal for large printing runs because of its speed, low cost, and flexibility.

Benefits of Web Offset Printing

Ideal for Large Scale Printing

One of the main benefits of offset printing is the large volume of printing you can do with consistent results.  If you are looking to have something large scale printed, offset printing accommodates larger proportions than sheetfed printing can without compromising quality.

Consistent Quality

When your printing service utilizes the latest technology and Advanced Interface systems in-house, you can expect high-quality results every time with quick turnaround.   With high-tech web presses, such as the 6-unit Komori 38 S, unparalleled quality is produced with a full array of options such as:

  • In-line folding and sheeting options
  • Auto plate
  • Close loop color
  • In-line aqueous and gluing
  • And More

Speedy Results

Do you need your printing job completed rather quickly?  Another benefit of choosing web offset printing is the time and efficiency.  Web presses use rolls of paper rather than sheets of paper.  This allows for greater speed and efficiency during the printing process.

These presses can print tens of thousands of feet of paper per hour, and operators don’t have to keep reloading them with precut sheets. With a web offset press, producing plenty of copies of a catalog or magazine is quick and easy. Technicians can also change plates quickly, which makes daily production much more efficient.

Pantone Color Matching

If your project requires the use of the Pantone Machine System, offset printing can provide you with the most accurate match.  Another bonus of web offset printing is that if you only need to print in black and white, the cost will be significantly lower and save you money.

Flexibility

Web offset printers can also accomplish additional tasks like cutting, folding, and perforating paper. Heatset web presses have drying lamps, much like a large oven, to set ink quickly for a high-quality image. Solo Printing’s web offset presses are some of the latest models available, featuring the most up to date technology.

Cost Effective

A major benefit of using offset printing for your project is that it is very cost effective.  If you need to produce a high quantity of quality prints, this is a smart choice.

Web offset printing overall is a quick and cost-effective printing option with consistent high-quality results.  If you have a large order that needs to be printed and want to get the most for your money, web offset printing is the answer for you!

Variable Printing

Variable data printing (also known as VDP) is a method of digital printing that is growing in popularity due to the power it gives marketers, businesses, and others to customize individual pieces in a larger batch of printed materials. Starting with a standard template, which might include your logo, images, and/or text, variable data printing allows you to use different fields of text or images created specifically for the individual who is to receive the material. VDP has revolutionized the printing industry.

Benefits of VDP

Reach Your Customers

One of the greatest benefits of VDP is the ability it gives you to reach your customer. When you send someone a generic piece of mail, it has a significantly lower impact than if you send them something that has their name on it, or a map of your brick and mortar location in their city, or a line of text about their most recent purchase from your company. VDP allows you to reach your customers and prospects like never before with information that is relevant to them

Track Print Ads Like Digital Ads

With VDP, you can put a unique mark on each individual piece, such as a barcode or a coupon code. These codes allow you to keep track of who is engaging with the printed materials, so you can continue delivering quality customer service to that segment, and tweak what you’re doing for other groups. VDP gives you tracking power with your print advertising that many have discounted as something that you can only do online.

Get a Huge ROI

When your prospects feel you are speaking directly to them, they’ll be more likely to engage. VDP has been shown to be twice as effective as standard batch printing at the basic level – for example, addressing the prospect by their first name, with as much as ten times the return on investment when a higher level of specialization is employed. Few methods can get such a big ROI with the elegant simplicity of a good database and quality printing as VDP.

Cultivate Excellent Customer Relationships

VDP gives you the ability to create content that speaks directly to each of your individual customers. Different people want different things from companies they interact with, and VDP gives you greater power to deliver exactly what different groups of customers want. VDP allows you to market directly to their interests, in a way that traditional print advertising has never had the flexibility to allow.

Contact Solo Printing for Your Next Project

Solo Printing has more than 30 years of printing, binding, and mailing experience. Solo can help you create a quality product, enhance your company’s brand, and attract new customers. Contact us today for excellent service from Solo Printing’s helpful, friendly professionals.

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