Ganging Print Runs

Printing Guy asked:

When you have multiple pieces that are all on the same paper and same ink colors you can sometimes gang or put multiple pieces up on the same press sheet. This saves on makeready, setups, plates and washups and can save $$$ if you are comfortable with some of the limitations that you might have.

As an example let’s say we are printing 8-8.5×11 brochures printed process on both sides. Our quantity that we want of each brochure is 5000. If a printer has a 40″(full size) press he can put all 8 of these brochures up on the same run. There is some potential real savings in doing this but there are some drawbacks. First of all, if you have all the brochures up on the same sheet and they are different families of colors let’s say a blue color, a green color, a purple color, a red color and a yellow and orange color. Because these brochures are being printed in CMYK process screen mix you probably will have some compromise on matching any one of those colors of brochures on press.

If you have critical colors that you need to match too ganging pieces is not a very good idea. A printer should ask you if ganging is OK and tell you before he does it. Let’s say that the blue and the purple brochure are next too each other or stacked. Blue and purple in CMYK are predominantly made of cyan and magenta in different screen %. If you want to make the blue brochure bluer you are going to either take out magenta or add cyan. This will also affect your purple brochure color as well.

If you don’t have a product or corporate color or varying shades of skin tones that you must match ganging will save you money. The other drawback would be if you want to reprint just part of the brochures. You need to be prepared for possibly paying more if you only print one or two of them. It is a good option but it does have its limitations.

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