Printing for Less: Here's a Simple Way to Save on Full-Color Printing

If your organization uses full-color business cards, postcards, flyers, door hangers, or any other common item printed in full-color ink, you may be able to attain a lower cost by working with a printing company that has gang run capabilities.

What is a Gang Run?

A gang run, also known as a combination run or combo run, is a print industry term for grouping multiple smaller jobs into one large production run. Gang runs are used in conjunction with offset printing presses, which produce very high quality printing.

Even though offset presses produce high-quality printing, they often have substantial set-up costs. Normally, these high set-ups costs would make an offset printing press too cost prohibitive for a shorter production run.

However, 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 set-up costs - like plate charges and other press preparation costs - are 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 like business cards, postcards, flyers, simple brochures and door hangers better candidates for gang runs.

For example, by printing a gang run of business cards on an offset press, Formax is able to offer full-color 2-sided business cards with UV coating for what other printers might charge for a one-color 1-sided uncoated business card.

In fact, a gang press run can significantly lower the price of many popular items printed in full color, particularly smaller orders which might have otherwise been too cost prohibitive if produced by their own separate offset press run.

Does a Gang Run work well for all Full-Color items?

No. Some projects are better suited for their own press run instead of being printed along with other jobs. For example, if the project requires an exceptional degree of color control, such as an annual report or flagship brochure, a gang run may not be the best option.

Also, if the 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.

If you have any questions about whether or not your full-color project is well-suited for gang run printing, give Formax Printing Solutions a call. We'll be happy to discuss gang printing and share any other ideas that will reduce the cost of your project. Our goal is to make your print buying experience simple and cost-effective!

Take care! Rick

About the Author

Rick Stallings 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 and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Rick is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221 or by submitting our easy quote request form. Rick and the Formax team have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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