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Short Run vs. Offset Press Printers: Envelope Printing

Posted by: Bill Frederick on 4/12/17 10:05 AM

When it comes to envelope printing, you're most likely either using an offset press or a short-run envelope press. Both do their jobs and do their jobs well, but what I'll be covering today is the types of print jobs each machine excels at. 

Offset Press Printers 

Short run vs. offset press printers: envelope printingA 2-color offset press, also known as a duplicator, is a printing press that uses plates to transfer designs onto a printing surface. In order for a print job to go through an offset press, these are the steps:

  1. Make a plate
  2. Make multiple plates for multiple colors
  3. Mount the plates
  4. Run the press
  5. Clean the press
  6. Repeat with next job

This whole process can take hours, especially when you're running multiple print jobs. 

Running an offset press is both labor intensive and supply intensive. Offset printing is fantastic if you're running 3,000-10,000 of something, but where they fall short is in short-run printing. If you're doing short-run envelope print jobs, say 500 or 1,000 of something, the labor and the hassle of resetting the offset press tends to overtake the value. 

Short-Run Envelope Printers

Unlike offset printing, short-run envelope printers are ideal for lower volume runs. They print quickly, but the true value here is the ability to switch from run to run. With the iJetColor Press, all users need to do is load the design, load the envelopes, and hit go.

Even though envelopes can seem like a lower priority in some situations, they still need to get done. They need to match colors with other print materials, too. It's a real hassle for a traditional offset printer to handle these jobs. Especially with the trend toward short-run print jobs. 

Which Printer is Best?

Well, it depends on what you're looking to do with it. If your envelope print jobs are in quantities of 2,500 or less, you're doing short run printing, and you stand to benefit from the iJetColor Press. If you regularly print in quantities of 3,000+, an offset press will meet your needs. 


Topics: Cost Savings