Printing documents is, in the internet and email-focused modern age, still a vital task. When choosing between models to buy, one can purchase a desktop printer with a small form factor for home use, or a larger floor model such as can be found at a copy stop, depending on the needs of the buyer. A commercial printer, however, is used for many different applications, and the purchase of them makes the buyer capable of producing a high volume of printed materials.
A desktop printer for home use is most often implemented to print out an important document or form to sign, such as forms from a government office, or to print a university paper to be handed in to a professor. In an office, university, or government setting, there is a need to produce similar documents, but at a faster and higher rate, so it’s crucial that you find a good source for cheap ink cartridges, striking a balance between quality and cost. Larger versions of desktop printers, called floor models, are also required due to their increased ink and paper capacity, and speed of printing output.
A commercial printer, on the other hand, prints high volumes, hundreds or thousands of sheets a day or more. For example, a newspaper needs a printer with a massive output and uses room-sized lithography (also called offset) printers to produce their daily editions. Offset printers print most of the world’s magazines, newspapers, and other printed media. They are massive and expensive, but purchasing offset printers means the buyer is capable of hiring them out and making a large return on their investment, as many publications don’t have the funds to purchase their own. Businesses with funds to purchase a commercial offset printer will have another revenue stream.
While both inkjet and laser printers are used in desktop and commercial printers, another key difference is the quality of document needed. Since commercial printers are usually printing materials of higher quality than a college essay, colour is an important consideration. Desktop printers print with a CMYK, or four-color palette, so anything with a complicated colour scheme will be hard to reproduce with them. Offset printers are capable of producing colours outside the CMYK palette, so are a better choice for colourful projects.
Similarly, personal printers are limited in the kind of stock or material they can print on, due to their size. Metallic inks cannot be done with digital printers, so in those cases, a commercial offset printer will be required. Also, a quick turnaround for a small project is likely to not be a problem for smaller personal machines, but hiring a commercial printer or purchasing the proper equipment would likely not be cost-effective if only smaller, uncomplicated projects are what you’re working on. On an offset printer, films and plates must be made, so the time and expense won’t be worth it.
As you can see, when it comes to your print project, there really are big differences between your typical personal printer and a commercial offset printer. Whether you just need to make hard copies of documents or plan to put together a successful print magazine with glossy photos and slick layouts, Choosing the right one will make the pivotal difference in your project or businesses’ success.