Digital or offset print

Will my dissertation be digitally printed, or offset printed? This terminology deserves some extra explanation.

Printing or printing colors is done by printing four basic colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key = black) on top of each other. In offset printing, a printing plate is made for each individual color of those four colors and for each signature (normally 16 or 32 pages). A printing plate quickly costs 20 - 30 euro`s. With a 160-page dissertation with some color images scattered throughout the book, you need quite a few printing plates. Add to that the fact that you have to print quite a few more sheets before you have exactly the right color and you have a considerable amount of start-up costs all together. However, after these start-up costs, printing per copy is relatively inexpensive.

Digital printing made its entrance in the early 90s. No printing plates are used here and you sooner have the right color. As a result, the start-up costs - especially for book-shaped productions with a lot of color - are a fraction of those involved in offset printing. There is of course a tipping point as offset printing is much cheaper per copy after the start-up cost. Depending on the number of pages and the use of color, that point may be lower or higher. Normally, for a book with about 160 to 200 pages, that is only from an edition of 800 copies or higher. That is why almost all theses are produced digitally.

Within digital printing you still have 2 different techniques:

This is our standard printing technique. The vast majority of all our book productions are produced this way. With inkjet, droplets of liquid ink are sprayed onto the paper and dried in a controlled manner in the machine.

  • Fastest way of production.
  • Most economical production method.
  • Most commonly used printing technique for dissertations and books.

In contrast to inkjet, toner does not work with ink but with a powder substance to print the images and text. This powder is applied to the paper using static electricity and heat.

  • Toner machines usually operate slower than inkjet.
  • Sometimes provides a slightly better print quality with very high detail images
    (particularly on high-gloss paper).
  • More expensive to produce than inkjet.
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