The Magic Number of One
With improvements in technology, the “crossover point” – the point at which an order is cheaper to fill digitally than with offset printing – continues to increase, as larger and larger orders can be handled economically on digital equipment. Already, Daubert says, most of his orders of less than 1500 books (there is variation depending on page counts) are filled through digital workflows.
As a company long specializing in coffee table and museum books, quality matters to the Riverside Group as much as cost. In fact, for all the talk of cost efficiencies, it is advances in print quality – especially with regard to photos - that has really enabled the digital revolution in the book industry.
This factor set HP apart from the rest in selecting a digital partner, Daubert says. He calls the photo quality he has been able to achieve “truly phenomenal…In our opinion, head and shoulders above the rest.”
With quality advances enabling digital print options for a full range of printed materials, publishers of all types and sizes are looking to incorporate ultra short run printing models. Daubert expects the digital printing business to be the most important growth element in his operations over the next five years.
“We did a trade show in New York for [book] publishers and the magazine trade in March. Being a little guy we had the Simon and Schusters and Random Houses coming to the booth and asking us if we are truly a one-off book manufacturer,” he says. “They are all looking for that magic number of one. Even the big players are looking at that model, and it really makes sense.”
Lean more at the HP Digital Printing Solution Resource Center: On-Demand Webinars, Demos, Videos, Success Stories, Informational booklets and Go Green solutions.