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Old 11-03-2006, 07:25 AM   #1
Michael Rowley
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Default Digital printing

Here's an interesting article for enthusiasts about digital printing:

http://www.tekom.de/artikel/artikel_1974.html

I wonder particularly what the printers using modern offset machines think about it, but also the writers, editors, and designers & typesetters think.

   
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:03 PM   #2
PeterArnel
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Michael
I have been in print for too long to worry about how I put ink on paper - Those that think that print is just that are wrong . Printing is the complete package and thats the finished product. THose that think that it is a single sheet of printed A4 - and a business can be built on it - good luck to them. They will soon learn that it has to be scored - folded - stitched laminated - wirobound - produced over night etc etc etc. For a general printer at the moment there is not enough volume to justify the cost of a machine - but when it becomes cost effecient - printers are still the only people with experience to produce the jobs
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:20 AM   #3
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Peter:

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I have been in print for too long to worry about how I put ink on paper
Yes, I realize that printers have already dealt with all kinds of ways of putting inks on paper (as well as on a lot of other substrates), so one or two more won't make a difference to them in that respect. But the economics of the newer techniques is interesting. Folding, cutting, stitching, etc. will presumably be the same: highly mechanized. But if 'printing' becomes cheaper, that might make everything else relatively dearer, and therefore subject to even more pressure than it is now.

   
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:28 AM   #4
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Michael - high quality machines are not cheap at the moment - a top end Xerox will cost say £400,000 with a click cost of £30 per 1000 sheets of A3 in colour. The machine cost is then nearly £400 a day - with overheads etc etc thats about £1000 a day u need 10 jobs at £100 a day to make it work to break even - With such small value jobs - cost of selling, getting the files to work and delivery is huge - At the moment its usually city printers or niche markets that are having the success - everyone else is putting a brave face on it
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:56 AM   #5
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Peter:

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At the moment it's usually city printers or niche markets that are having the success
I gathered that from the article, which, you must remember, appeared in the organ of Tekom, which is a German association of technical writers. Tekom is mainly interested in the sort of writing that typically is published in quantities often of no more than 1000 copies in each language. But on the other hand, those runs of a few thousand copies tend to be printed (in Germany, at least) by a myriad of comparatively small printers; not many of those would be keen on investing €600 000 in a top-end Xerox machine.

   
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Old 11-04-2006, 12:34 PM   #6
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Michael
Digital print is really getting polarised into specialists types . The Xerox type of machine that prints balck and white (say the Docutech range) will copy collate stitch perfect bind what ever in one pass -
Peter
I was talking to a large Digtal Manufacturer in LOndon on Thursday - they have yet to really get in the large commerical market -I think that in a few years - desktop printers will do all the A4 work and we will be left withy the rubbish
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Old 11-04-2006, 02:56 PM   #7
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Peter:

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desktop printers will do all the A4 work and we will be left withy the rubbish
Desktop laser printers will do A4 black & white (or black & white plus spot colours) quite adequately, but for colour printing you have to go to the uneconomic jet printers; and there's plenty of stuff printed either in diferent shapes (i.e. not 1:2^1/2) or needing even simple folding. When it comes to books, even paperbacks, most books have a different shape, because the neither the ISO series nor the traditional lettter & foolscap forms are attractive for other than purely functional applications. You have only to ask a designer!

   
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:58 AM   #8
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Michael - lots of books at the moment are produced including colour on Xerox type machines - Lots of out of print books are produced like this - U are right about Ink jets being to expensive - these machines seem now to be aimed at the digital phorography market. However small colour lasers will mop a lot of the A4 work produced out
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:50 AM   #9
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Peter:

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lots of books at the moment are produced including colour on Xerox type machines
Oh, I don't doubt that: printing short runs is ideal for that type of machine. Lots of academic books are printed in very small runs, and half of those finish up in the (flourishing) 'end-of=run' market.

As to A4 fliers etc. being increasingly produced by small laser machines, you may well be right, for you know what you and other professional printers do; but small laser colour machines will have to get a lot faster than they are at present. In the UK, the new postage rates for C4 envelopes is already turning companies from putting out anything that is not folded into something a bit smaller than A4.

   
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:25 AM   #10
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In the UK, the new postage rates for C4 envelopes is already turning companies from putting out anything that is not folded into something a bit smaller than A4.
This is a major problem - I produce a lot of high class property brochures "A4 Landscape" thats 210 x 420 open size - these (well only on one type of machine) cannot be printed digitally - But due to the postage cost clients are making them smaller and letting in the A5 digital printer.
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