What should be known about commercial printing in US?

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What should be known about commercial printing in US?
In the US, the commercial printing industry includes around 35,000 companies with an annual revenue of $90 billion.

There are several giants on the market such as RR Donnelley and Canadian printer Quebecor World which have accordingly high revenues but most companies have annual revenues under $1 billion. These types of businesses are usually small or midsized and operate one production plant and have fewer than 20 employees.

The business customers are the ones who set the demand, depending mostly on their advertising and product needs. If an individual company is profitable or not is a fact closely related to the effectiveness of sales operations. Purchasing materials like paper and ink, serving large companies as customers that have regional or national needs, and using expensive presses efficiently are the great advantages for large companies. But in terms of local service small companies do better.

The competitive landscape of the commercial printing market is constantly changing due to the digital technology. Digital color pages are cheaper than offset printing and companies who fall behind in the shift to digital printing are at risk.

Before going any further there is a question that demands some answers: What do commercial printers produce? Their products range encompasses a great variety, starting from advertising brochures, magazines, phone books, catalogs, labels, newspaper inserts, direct mail marketing pieces to more intricate materials such as corporate reports and other types of financial printing, promotional materials, training manuals and business forms.

Pay attention to the fact that book publishers and newspaper publishers are not included here. Regarding services most commercial printers offer four distinct ones: design and prepress services; the actual printing; finishing (folding, cutting, and binding); and fulfillment, meaning packing, storing, and shipping (often on a “just-in-time” basis). Other connected services may include packaging, web design, database management, training, and consulting.


A typical commercial printing company has different presses and binding equipment for different types of jobs. Offset lithography is the main printing process used and the suitable machinery to deliver such tasks are either sheet fed presses or web presses. The difference between the two lies in the number of the printed pages and speed.

Sheet fed presses have the capacity of printing up to 16 pages (letter-size) at a time, at speeds up to 15,000 impressions per hour, the web press, almost doubles the amount by being able to print 32 pages at a time at speeds over 40,000 impressions per hour.The latter are usually used for production runs of more than 50,000 copies.

Advertising is the largest market for printing services for newspaper inserts, magazines, and direct mail materials. Other products such as magazines, catalogs, and phone books mean work that may be done regularly for large customers under long-term contracts, yet work may be most of the times episodic and many companies keep extra presses to meet anticipated demands.

One might refer to commercial printing as a local business, as small printers can compete effectively with larger ones due to the small size and high variability of most printing jobs. This means that is not a must to have larger presses. Because most print jobs require just a high degree of personal attention, (for example client approvals of proofs and “press checks” during actual printing) customers prefer to use a local printer.

If you are involved in the process of looking for a commercial printing company in the U.S in your own area the easiest way to reach them is by accessing: http://printing-companies.org/list-of-usa-printing-companies/ where you will be welcomed with a selection of the finest.

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