Cartamundi - Is offset printing your best bet?

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Always been curious about how those magnificent board games and cards come to life – and how they are printed? Step inside the world of printing techniques and get an introduction to offset and digital printing.

In a nutshell

Today’s printing options are limitless. Offset printing is the dominant industrial printing technique that’s especially awesome for mass-production orders. Basically, the entire technique is based on one simple truth: water and ink don’t mix. Firstly, the complete image is transferred to thin metal plates. Then the rollers on the press dampen the plates with water and ink. The entire image area is covered with ink – whilst the non-image area receives a thin layer of water. The inked images on the metal plates are offset, or transferred, to rubber rollers. These rollers transfer the images to paper or cardboard.

Creating solutions

Offset printing has its advantages. The flexible rubber rollers allow printing on rough surfaces, like wood or canvas. Also, because the metal plates are never in direct contact with paper or cardboard, they live longer. As we receive orders for millions of cards, we’d better be up for the job. Cost-effectiveness in an important factor to consider. The more games you print with offset, the more exponentially the price per piece drops. So when you’re looking to print large numbers, offset printing provides a high quality and cost-effective solution. Be aware that this technique comes with a set-up cost. Of course there are multiple options and special techniques we can help you with as well.

Digital versus offset printing

Let’s get one thing straight: whether you print offset or digital, the same highest quality is always guaranteed. Depending on what you’re after, either two techniques can be your right fit. Digital printing tackles both small and large quantities. So what’s the difference? Digital printing doesn’t use metal plates, but toner or liquid ink. Does your game hold cards that each have a unique code or name? Digital printing facilitates adding a unique element to each individual card. And let’s talk about costs. There are no set-up costs involved with digital printing. Also, the same principle of quantity applies: the bigger your order, the lower the price per piece. However, with digital printing the price drop per piece doesn’t happen as exponentially as with offset. Often the customer chooses to start with a smaller order with digital printing, to move on to offset printing when he experiences a higher demand.

Every game has its own needs and requirements. Do you want to know what’s the best option for your game? Our production experts will happily sort you out.