No matter if you’re an experienced marketer or an early career professional, you've likely perused countless catalogs, magazines and/or other promotional materials without ever focusing on the specific details that attracted you to them in the first place—that is, until it’s time to print one yourself. Regardless of your background or tenure, if you're spearheading a direct mail initiative for your company, it must not only look and feel absolutely spectacular, but it must be effective.
It's therefore critical you select the optimal printing process, right from the outset.
Design Distributors recognizes that even the most experienced marketers likely can't describe the difference between offset web and sheet-fed printing.
Why should they? The only thing that matters is the end product, and how it will ultimately influence the perception of your brand.
Consider this a helpful explainer highlighting the major differences between these two methods and outlining how both options can positively influence the success of your direct mail marketing campaign.
From a marketing standpoint, here is what you need to know about the two printing techniques:
Starting with similarities, both are viable solutions to creating promotional materials industrially.
These methods are ideal for orders of 1,000 pieces or more, and include everything from tri-fold brochures to order cards to lithographed envelopes and even bi-colored letterheads—you name it, we print it.
One difference is the actual mechanics behind each.
Web printing utilizes one, continuous roll of paper, while sheet-fed, as its name indicates, involves single, individual pages quite literally 'fed' into a press.
Other differentials include speed and volume.
Web presses tend to be more expeditious at handling larger quantities for bigger jobs, with sheet-fed presses the perfect go-to for projects more concerned with enhanced quality.
The chief distinctions between the two techniques are evident in the finish of the end products—the result of printing and drying process variances—and the particular stock of paper handled by each.
As discussed in more detail below, both choices have advantages that will benefit particular orders, based on their specific details.
• Sheet-fed can print on a much larger diversity of stocks, especially on those that are thicker.
• Web printing is normally limited to a 9-point, or 80# coated cover, whereas sheet-fed printing can normally handle up to 24-point stock.
Also, depending on the web press, there can be a limitation on finishes of stock. Some web presses can't print on a gloss-coated stock. Sheet-fed, however, can print larger formats, heavier, and specialty paper—making it perfect for brochures, order cards, and postcards.
Depending on the inking and drying approach—typically coldset or heatset—web printing has limitations on drying capabilities, so it is limited on options with respect to specialty coatings and varnishes. Web printing is best for newspapers, catalogs, and high-quality, glossy magazines. Its flexible format and speed make it ideal for long-run orders.
Sheet-fed printing is ideal for projects requiring products consisting of larger, heavier and specialty papers—such as aforementioned, brochures, order cards and postcards, for example. Since it has much better range of finishing options and stock options, sheet-fed printing is better suited for orders ranging from complex lithographed envelopes to basic bi-colored letterheads.
As aforementioned, both finishes will impact how recipients view the featured clients and merchandise, so it's important to choose wisely.
As your one-stop printing partners, we offer web and sheet-fed options, digital printing services, and much more—enabling us to create and execute your promotional campaign, no matter its unique needs. We hold ourselves accountable to getting your printing done right the first time, on time, every single time. Contact Us Today.