It’s been interesting to stir up conversation here and on other discussion boards about the current status of toner versus offset print. My first post on the topic on Digital Nirvana, about the visual differences between the two, generated a lot of responses. Lots of people wanted to chime in on that one. The second post, on the remaining design limitations of digital presses, didn’t generate comments at all. (What’s up with that?) So let’s try again.
Let’s look at bindery and post-processing.
Here are three of the remaining issues I still hanging “out there” as they impact marketers directly. Please chime in and let me know what you’re still seeing.
1. Toner is not as inherently “tough” as offset ink, so documents printed with toner may be more likely to scuff or mark during post-processing. In these cases, the value of the larger application needs to be weighed against the impact of any minimal marking that might occur.
2. Cracking across the fold can still be an issue in some digitally printed applications, especially when the toner coverage is extremely heavy. While this can be vastly minimized or eliminated through the use of optimized post-processing steps, such as running the job through specialized creasers before folding, the issue itself is still rumbling around.
(Question: Do you see clients requiring heavy post-processing predisposed to looking into working with printers with digital presses that use polymerized toner?)
3. Issues with insertion, collation, and scoring, which are handled differently on digital presses than offset presses. This continues to impact the cost-effectiveness and productivity of projects such as books, catalogs, and newsletters.
These are the three I still consistently hear people talking about. What’s your experience?