Chart: In offset printing, Efficiency, quality and speed go up. Cost goes down.

Choosing a Web Offset Printer — 5 Questions to Ask

Find a great heatset or coldest web offset printer by asking yourself these 5 questions. Web printing is the technology of choice for economical production of catalogs, newspapers, and commercial direct mail inserts. The ability to print high volume at high speed is efficient. Yet there are differences in vendors offering web offset printer services. Looking for a vendor in New England who can handle both heatset and coldset printing? Find out more about our commercial print capabilities at Upper Valley Press.

1. What Are Your Print Requirements? Do you need heatset or coldset offset printing?

Your choice of paper stock has a direct impact on the type of web offset printing you need. Consider whether you’re printing on a coated or uncoated paper. Heatset printing is a requirement for coated stocks. It uses high heat to dry ink quickly while maintaining the integrity of the paper coating. This is ideal for glossy paper stocks preferred for high-volume insert and direct mail printing. However, if you’re printing on uncoated stock, such as that used for newsprint, coldset web offset printing is most commonly used. It dries ink slowly, allowing it time to absorb into the paper. Choosing a print vendor with both capabilities, like Upper Valley Press, gives you the flexibility to use the paper stock and ink that’s best for your needs.

2. Are You Getting a Good Value?

Obtaining up-front price quotes is a critical first step when selecting a web offset printer. Try to get at least three price quotes for comparison and be wary of any quote that is much higher—or much lower—than what you’re expecting. Ask your print vendor if they can make any cost-saving recommendations to help you economize. Paper stock alone can consume 50% or more of your print cost, so a high-value printer is one who can help you bring these costs down. For example, Upper Valley Press can help you choose the best stock (including money-saving house stocks), ink, and formats for web offset printing—and we can deliver inline and offline finishing to provide a variety of different product formats.

3. How Much Support Do You Need?

There’s a great deal of complexity involved in web offset printing, so be sure you’re working with a print vendor who will support you throughout the process. When evaluating your print vendors, choose a vendor who will assign a point person (or team) to your print job; people who can answer your questions 24/7 to alleviate the anxiety that can occur if you can’t get an update about your print run. Upper Valley Press is 100% employee-owned company, so our staff is fully committed to supporting our clients’ needs. We ensure that our clients can reach us any time of the day or night, consistently meeting on-time requirements for every print run. And for those clients who need it, we can provide design, photos and other direct mail support to ensure a professional finished product.

4. What Kind of Reputation Does the Printer Have?

Like all businesses, web offset printers must adhere to professional business practices. Printers who don’t follow ethical business practices are at risk of being reported to the Better Business Bureau. When choosing your offset printer, do some extra leg work to be sure you’re working with a credible print vendor. Go to the Better Business Bureau website to evaluate their BBB Rating and to see if there are any customer reviews or complaints. Ask if your printer belongs to any professional associates within the direct mail or print industry. For example, Upper Valley Press is a member of PINE trade association for print and graphic arts and the Printing Industries of America.

5. Where Are You Mailing?

When it comes to distribution of printed mail, think local. Choosing a web offset printer situated near your geographic mail target is efficient and environmentally friendly. For example, printing collateral in the Midwest for distribution across New England comes with increased shipping costs. Printing locally to your geographic target means you spend less time (and money) transporting materials. Upper Valley Press is a heatset web offset printer in New England who can economically print (and ship) printed mail in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island, to help keep direct mail and commercial newsprint costs down.

Upper Valley Press offers a wide range of commercial print services, including heatset and coldest web offset printing, with value-added support to ensure your success. Contact us for a quote today.

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