print on demand vs print runs

Print on demand vs print runs are two popular publication means utilized by businesses to produce printed materials. 

It’s important for companies to understand the differences between the two services in request to determine which one best fits their needs. 

In this article, we’ll explore how reproduction on request and press runs compare in terms of cost, convenience, and feature of results. With this information, businesses will be able to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a publication solution.

Cost Comparison: Print On Demand Vs Print Runs

Print on demand is a cost-effective choice for those looking to print materials in smaller quantities. 

It can be more expensive than bulk publication, but it also eliminates the need to order large quantities of printed materials, which can save money in the long run. 

With reproduction on order, you only pay for what you need and when you need it. You don’t have to worry about storing excess inventory or disposing of unused material.

Press runs offer a lower cost per unit than reproduce on order, but require a large upfront investment due to the higher number or amount of prints required. Press runs are often used for larger requests, such as magazine or newspaper subscriptions. 

This choice can be beneficial for businesses who know they will always have an ongoing need for their printed materials.

As such, they can save time and money by publishing in large numbers at one time instead of making several small requests over time.

Turnaround Time

Print on demand is a publication method that prints single units as requests are placed. This allows for greater flexibility in request size and faster turnaround times than traditional press runs.

With reproduction on request, customers can expect to receive their requests within days or even hours counting on the product and service provider.

Press runs, on the other hand, require large volumes of items to be printed at once. This means that turnaround time is longer since more production time is needed. 

Furthermore, if there are changes or corrections needed after a press run, it will require another round of publication and additional costs. 

Therefore, when deciding between reproduction on request and press runs, it is important to consider turnaround time and cost effectiveness.

Quality Of Prints Category

Print on demand and press runs are two publication means that can be used to create physical copies of a document. 

quality of prints category

Reproduce on request is a type of publication that only prints the number or amount requested by the customer, while press runs are large batches of documents printed all at once.

When it comes to features, reproduction on request offers superior results compared to press runs. This is because reproduction on request prints each document individually, allowing for greater control over color accuracy and details. 

On the other hand, with a press run, the entire batch has to be printed at once, which can result in inconsistencies between individual documents or even within an individual document due to things like ink splatter or miscalibration of the printer. 

Additionally, because no proof copy is generated for each document in a press run, any errors may not be caught until after publication has been completed.

The difference in feature between these two publication means should be taken into account when deciding which method is more suitable for your needs. 

Although both methods can produce good results depending on the circumstances, it’s best to opt for reproduction on request instead of a press run if you require higher feature prints.

Moreover, with short run book publication, the means of publication one book at a time allows for more control over print features. 

Each copy can be meticulously checked before distribution, ensuring a higher level of accuracy and consistency. 

On the other hand, with press runs, the need to print a specific and often larger number of copies may introduce certain limitations. 

While offset publication technology has advanced and can deliver excellent print features, it’s important to consider the cost-effectiveness of publication with an exact number of copies. 

POD offers the advantage of publishing only the amount of books needed, eliminating the risk of excess inventory. 

So, when it’s time to distribute your book, whether we’ve explored the book’s specifics or not, let’s consider if you want to use POD based on your desired print feature and the required number or amount of copies.

Color Matching Method

It’s important to consider the features of prints when using a print-on-demand service. It’s essential that the prints are of the highest standard, as it’ll reflect well on your business. 

Color Matching Method

When it comes to press runs, you’re typically able to get higher feature prints since they’re printed in bulk.

The next important factor to consider is color matching. With a print-on-demand service, there’s no guarantee that the colors will match perfectly between each item. 

On the other hand, you can be more confident that each item will match consistently in color and tone. 

Additionally, you can also use Pantone or Spot colors for even greater accuracy when publishing in bulk. 

In short run publications, such as POD, each book is typically printed individually, allowing for more control over color accuracy. 

Authors who choose POD for their publishing needs can ensure that each copy of their paperback or hardcover book closely matches their desired colors. 

On the other hand, offset printers used for press runs may require additional steps, such as custom color adjustments, to achieve accurate color reproduction across a larger number or amount of books. 

Factors such as the type of paper and the binding process can also affect color consistency. 

All these factors must be taken into account when considering which type of publication is best for your business.

Volume Considerations

When it comes to volume considerations, reproducing on request and press runs both have their advantages and drawbacks. 

For reproduction on request, the main benefit is that customers can request multiple copies of a book or product without having to request a large number or amount upfront. 

This makes it easy for businesses to keep up with customer demand, as they can produce more items as needed. 

However, reproducing on request does come with some drawbacks. It’s typically more expensive than a traditional press run since the production costs are higher per item. 

Additionally, there may be limitations on the types of materials or sizes available for publication.

On the other hand, a traditional press run allows businesses to produce large quantities of products in one go, often at lower prices per item. 

This is an ideal solution for those wanting to stock their shelves with products in bulk or who need specific materials or sizes not offered through print-on-demand services. 

However, this choice does require companies to purchase large quantities upfront which could be risky if they overestimate their customer demand and end up with unsold inventory.

Taking these considerations into account can help businesses decide which publication choice is best for them and ensure they are making an informed decision about their volume needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of setting up a reproduce-on request or press run service will count on several factors, such as the type of publication you’re using, the number of copies you’ll be publishing, and the feature of materials you’ll need. 

Generally speaking, the cost of setting up these services can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the scope and complexity of your project. 

Additionally, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, many providers offer discounts for bulk requests or subscription plans.

When it comes to requesting printed products, many businesses and organizations are presented with two potential services: reproduce on request and press runs. 

Both have different minimum request quantities, which can vary counting on the service provider. 

Reproducing on request typically requires a lower minimum request number or amount than press runs, making it a better option for those who need only a few items printed. 

On the other hand, press runs offer bulk discounts that make them more cost-effective if you plan to request larger quantities of prints.

Yes, there are additional fees associated with both reproduction on request and press run services. 

These fees may include setup fees, shipping fees, taxes, and any other service-related costs that the provider may charge. 

It’s important to check with your chosen provider to understand all of the associated costs before placing a request.

When it comes to reproducing on request or press run services, there is usually a limit to the number of colors that can be used. 

This will count on the specific service you are using, so make sure to check their requirements before requesting. 

Generally, the more colors used in a design, the higher the cost, and additional fees may be associated with complex designs.

The feature of a reproduction on request or press run service may vary with the number or amount produced. 

Smaller production runs are often printed using digital publication means, which can be less durable and may not have as sharp of an image feature as larger runs that use offset publication. 

It’s important to consider the size and type of production when choosing a reproduce-on-request or press run service.


When it comes to book printing, both print-on-demand (POD) and print runs offer flexible self-publishing options for self-published authors and self-publishers. 

POD provides a cost-effective and convenient method of printing books, allowing for customization and quick availability to the public. 

On the other hand, print runs, particularly through offset printing, offer more customization options and can be suitable for larger quantities per book. 

Ultimately, the choice depends on the specific needs, budget, and desired level of customization for each project. Whether it’s short-run printing or offset printing, both types of printing have their advantages and can prove to be effective for self-published authors and publishers.

reproduce on order and press run services offer different options for publication needs. The cost, minimum request number or amount, additional fees, color capabilities, and quality of the prints vary counting on which service you choose. 

Ultimately, it comes down to what will work best for your specific project. It’s important to do your research and consider all aspects of a reproduction on request or press run service before making a decision. 

I recommend weighing your options carefully and deciding which one is right for you.

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