It’s amazing how much things can change in just a few years. We’ve felt the sweep of new technologies across every corner of our shop. But one area where we’ve really noticed a transformation is in the way we print books.
Here’s how things used to work: after designing a book and getting it proofed, we’d have to manually impose pages so that they’d appear in the correct order. The more pages there were, the longer this took. Then we had to make plates from the imposed images, take them to the press, and print them off. We’d then manually collate, fold, and bind the pages, carry them over to the paper cutter for trimming, and place them in boxes to ship.
There were a few challenges with this process:
- It was slow. Between sending proofs back and forth, creating the plates, and all that manual finishing work, projects took a lot longer. Last-minute runs were harder to do—we typically needed a week’s notice for a big job.
- There was lots of room for error. That many steps meant that many more opportunities for mistakes. If pages printed in the wrong order, we’d have to start all over again.
- It was expensive. Customers often had to order far more copies then they actually needed to justify the cost of creating the offset plates—copies that often became outdated before they could ever be used.
These days, it’s a different story. Once designed, we simply upload a PDF of a book document into our Ricoh digital printer. Imposition happens automatically. And proofing is a snap, because we can give customers an actual finished product to look at, not a sketchy mockup. Once customers approve the proof, we hit ‘print.’ Thanks to our Plockmatic bookmaker attached to the digital press, finishing is totally automated—books even land in their boxes on their own.
Bookmaking is faster and simpler than it’s ever been. And the best thing about digital is that it allows for on-demand printing. If you need a last-minute run of just 50 or 100 copies, your costs won’t be through the roof.
We love how much easier digital printing has made the whole printing process—but most of all, we love how much easier it makes life for our customers. An end to dusty, out-of-date books cluttering your office supply closet? Now that’s something we can all be happy about.
Need to print a book, program, or pamphlet of your own? Contact Oregon today.