What Is Gang Run Printing?
the practice of placing many print projects on the same sheet or piggybacking a project on a vacant, unused portion of a print sheet. Sheet-fed presses are generally "full sheet" (28" x 40"), "half sheet" (28" x 19"), or "quarter sheet" (13" x 19"). In offset printing, the first sheet costs more than the next 1,000. Gang-run printing allows multiple jobs to share the setup cost. For example, a 28" x 40" sheet can hold 9 4" x 6" at 5,000 or 18 2,500 postcards (each card takes 4.25" x 6.25" on the sheet to accommodate full bleed. Gang-run printing has been one of the driving forces in the large drop in the price for full-color printing.
It’s not as hardcore as it sounds. There aren’t any red or blue bandannas involved in our online printing service, but your flyer or business card print job does roll with a posse in “gang run printing.” In this method, multiple printing orders are placed together on one large sheet and printed together. We take our reduced production costs and pass the savings on to you for your cheap business cards, rack cards, brochures, magnets, and other printed items.
Traditionally, when you order printing services from a commercial printer, it’s set up and produced as an individual event. Your order alone absorbs the cost of machine setup, metal plates, labor and the like. By grouping your printing order with other similar orders using the gang run method, each business card or flyer order on the press contributes toward these costs. Think of our printing method as riding in a car full of passengers sharing gas and tolls, while the other printing process is like driving a car by yourself.
Because we’re honest people at Miami Flyers’ online printing service, we should inform you of the downsides to gang run printing. Bulk production is cost-effective, but it can come at the expense of certain printing details. When your order is on the printing press sheet, it may be running through the printer with 20 or 30 other jobs. This means that color won’t be as consistent as it would if we were only printing your job. Again, we’ll use the car analogy. If you’re the only one in the car, you control the speed, a/c, radio, foghorn - whatever. When you have other passengers, you sacrifice some of that precise control to make everyone happy. Gang run printing requires similar little compromises.
To be very clear: We cannot guarantee exact colors or cuts for your entire business card, rack card, or flyer printing order. What does this mean, practically? It means we do our best to ensure that the overall quality of your printing order is consistent, but there may be times when your color varies slightly (even if we have printed the exact same order for you before). And it could mean that certain cuts on your prints are slightly off. In addition to being honest printers, we’re also pretty reasonable. If your order was supposed to be red and you get back yellow, we know we screwed up. Or if the majority of your order is cut crooked, we’ll obviously work with you to find a solution. But if you order 5,000 business cards, rack cards, or brochures and find 200 flawed, that’s a small price to pay for, well, small prices. We call this an acceptable margin of error for our cheap online printing service, and we want to make sure you understand this before ordering from Miami Flyers.
When it comes to business card, brochure, and flyer printing quantities, we don’t have oompa loompas counting every cut. Printing industry standards give +/- 10% leeway on quantity, but we think 10% is a bit high. It would be rare for an order to be short or over by 10%, but understand that the exact amount of business cards, stickers, brochures, booklets, or rack cards you receive may vary within this range.
We save money on oompa loompas, you save money on printing. Everybody wins.