As the media continues to express its belief ‘print is dead,’ and digital technology proceeds to rocket forward, will your favored map printing medium go the way of the dinosaurs? Just as vibrant and profitable of a segment as it was in previous years, offset printing is far from extinct.
Bridging the Gap Between Digital & Offset
Though sales of digital presses have increased over the past decade for the handling of short-run jobs (500-2,000 sheets), offset continues to handle the vast majority of printing projects. Offset printing remains the bread-and-butter of most print shops, representing 70-85% of total revenue. Offset is also evolving, adapting with automation to handle shorter-runs in a timely, profitable manner with no need for replacement by digital fare.
Digital Isn’t Replacing Offset, the Two are Cohabitating
Rather than a slow migration to digital presses, offset is working in harmony with digital technology. An addition to the printing family, offset and digital are working side-by-side in print shops across the nation in handling both short and long print runs, with application, content, run-size and price determining the best press for the job. In the vast majority of print shops, digital and offset coexist in harmony.
Adapting to Market Needs
Though most printed pages are still produced on offset, this doesn’t mean the printing industry hasn’t (or won’t) grow and change to meet market needs. On the contrary, offset technology is improving alongside the digital ilk, becoming more efficient via software enhancements, technology and tools that boost productivity and lessen job times. It’s not uncommon to see single, more efficient offset press replace multiple older, antiquated models.
Today’s Best Offset Presses
The capabilities of today’s newest offset presses produce results digital presses still can’t touch:
- Unique designs.
Pantone colors, pastels, fluorescents, metallics, coatings and other specialty effects simply cannot be produced digitally. It is in such stellar designs that offset shines.
- Wider substrate selection.
The range of substrates map creators are able to design around, from thick uncoated stocks to Hop-Syn synthetic papers and printable plastics, are far more numerous in offset printing, offering map printing customers design and sales advantages.
- Faster turnarounds times.
Advances in energy-curable solutions, such as Komori’s latest HUV ink curing systems, have decreased turnaround times – and improved print quality.
- Cost-effective solutions.
The most efficient and cost-effective printing mode, the more copies needed, the more cost-effective offset is.
What Changes May Come to Offset Map Printing Tech in the Years Ahead?
Offset remains the industry leader for high print quality, high output level, low cost map printing runs. In the future, offset press producers are looking to cement this position with technology that allows offset to provide the same results, both quality and cost-wise, in short-run offset jobs. Expect to see technological advancements on offset presses in the ink-curing arena as well as with automation as the industry evolves alongside its presses to reduce setup and turnaround times for short-run offset production.
Don’t become a dinosaur. Discover new ways to engage customers with the latest in printed map technology. Open the door to a new future with the latest substrates and inks, more functional folds, and the most reliable map printing and folding technology on the market. Contact MapPrinter to learn more about our offset and digital printing solutions today.