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Printing Lingo: What is a "Gang Run" or "Combination Run?"

A Gang Run refers to printing multiple jobs in the same press run

A Gang Run, also known as a Combination Run or Combo Run, is a term for printing multiple jobs in the same production run on a printing press.

By printing similar jobs from a multitude of customers all at the same time, the cost of each job is substantially reduced. This is because the production costs, like press set-up and paper waste, is distributed across many jobs, not just applied to one job.

When is a Gang Run used?

To take advantage of gang run savings, all of the printing jobs in the press run must share the same paper and ink specifications. This makes the more popular printed items better candidates for gang runs. For example, full color business cards are commonly grouped as a gang, as are flyers, simpler brochures, door hangers and postcards.

The use of gang runs has significantly lowered the price of many items printed in full color, particularly smaller orders which might have otherwise been too cost prohibitive if produced by their own separate press run.

When is a Gang Run not ideal?

Some projects are better suited for their own press run instead of being printed along with other jobs. For example, if your project requires a fine degree of color control, such as an annual report or flagship brochure, a gang run may not be your best option.

Also, if your project requires a unique type of paper, a special print effect or any other uncommon specification, then gang running will likely not be an available choice. Your best bet is to check with your printer for guidance about whether a particular project is well suited for gang printing.

If you have any additional questions about Gang/Combo runs, just give Formax a call. We can provide the assistance you need and can greatly simplify the printing process for you.

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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