Color Makes Sense: On-Demand Color Printing

People pay more attention to marketing in color. It’s just a fact. And in the past, the cost of high quality color printing could be a deterrent to many firms with a limited marketing budget. Full color print was only cost effective for long press runs of large quantities. Those days are over. New digital print technology has risen to meet the need for short run, on-demand, variable printing that fits most anyone’s marketing budget. Targeted, personalized mailings working in concert with web and email outreach have truly revolutionized marketing and the resulting ROI for all budgets and enterprises. Understanding some basics about color printing techniques will help you make the best choices in print buying.

CMYK printing on a 4-color offset press

Color Printing: The Bright Way to Do It

Offset printing is still the choice for print in large quantities, or on very large press sheets. Offset presses maintain very high quality in image reproduction and can match true PMS or spot colors with great accuracy. Turnaround time is generally longer, allowing for press set-up and for the finished product to dry before finishing.

The advantages of digital printing lie in fulfilling the need for quick, personalized prints in smaller quantities at an affordable price. The high quality of digital printing has grown so rapidly in the past years that it is often indistinguishable from offset. It also requires no drying time before cutting, folding or otherwise finishing like offset printing does, if time is of the utmost importance. A couple of drawbacks to digital printing are some inexact matches for PMS colors and slight shifting of position in paper feeding over the course of the run. These issues are, however, being addressed to the point that they may be a thing of the past as digital technology progresses.

Printing revolutionized the world by the 17th Century
Wooden-framed 17th century printing presses were replaced by the early 1800s with iron-framed presses.

Check out our previous blog posts relating to both the technical and design aspects of the power of color printing:

Color Printing 101: The RGB and CMYK Gamuts

Print: the Heart of Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Pantone’s 2012 Color of the Year is Tangerine Tango

The Psychology of Color: What Do Colors “Mean”?

What is a “moiré”?


ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.