Mass Printing vs On Demand Printing

When it comes to printing, modern technology has revolutionised the business. You can now have many printed pieces produced much quicker and more efficiently through the digital process. Electronic print ready files and printing software enables better graphics and text on a wider range of paper. With two distinct options to choose from – mass printing vs on-demand printing – the question of which option to go with very much depends on your specific requirements. So, what are the pros and cons of both options? Let’s take a look:

Let’s look at Mass Printing: pros

When it comes to mass printing, the clue is in the name. This type of printing is tailored to items that are required in bulk. Printing projects such as mass booklet printing, high-volume newsletters, mass mailing campaigns are best as they produce regular high volumes of print.

By printing in bulk, costs are lower per item, and print times have quicker turn-around, using easier printing applications, such as inkjet or laser printing.

Now, let’s look at Mass Printing: cons

With mass printing comes certain limitations. If you’re looking to create an impact with different stock, finishing or even certain graphical styles, you might find mass printing isn’t the best process for the job. Standard mass printing equipment may struggle to create high-gloss, iridescent or metallic finishes. And while the print may struggle, the employees may also have limited experience with anything more advanced than the standard printing processes.

What are some On-demand Printing: pros

On-demand printing is the more economical choice for smaller printing projects such as book printing and marketing booklets. It is certainly more beneficial for independent book authors as they are not required to order higher volumes than necessary. It also eliminates any additional costs to recycle or discard any unused or unsold items.

The flexibility of the on-demand printing process allows for easier and quicker updates with negligible costs. And it is also extremely favourable for smaller businesses who lack the storage facilities to hold larger volumes of print.

And what are some of the On-demand Printing: cons

If unfamiliar with the term on-demand, many people can get confused as to what the printing process offers, and where they can obtain on-demand printing. While it can be used in traditional publishing house, many people might not be aware of this and think it is only possible with web-based self-publishing services; and therefore, not choose to use it.

Publications that are mainly text-based have the best results with on-demand printing, whilst colour photos and illustrations might not appear as sharp as they would if they were mass-printed. This can depend on the equipment used, so it’s worth checking with your printer what is possible.

So… Which to choose?

So, when it comes to choosing the right printing option for you, be sure to consider your print project, budget and plans for distribution. If you’re looking to produce smaller volumes of print with a lower budget, from book printing to marketing booklets, on-demand printing may be the best choice for you. And if you’re looking to produce high volumes of print with a larger budget, like mass booklet printing, mass printing is the choice for you.


We are an all round UK book manufacturing and printing service. We work closely with publishers, self publishers and authors. We have a state of the art factory, complemented by our sales and marketing office in Westoning, Bedfordshire. We have invested in the very latest digital and litho printing technology, to integrate with a fully equipped craftsman bindery.  The conclusion of which means we are offering both softback and hardback books, to a very high standard of quality.

Order your book printing online or contact our team for more information.