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Choosing between a commercial printer and a desktop printer

Savvy business decision makers aren’t deeply investing in desktop printers, but are relying on the services of commercial printers to save time and money. Many business owners are asking themselves, “which is more economical, owning a printer or hiring a printer?” Here we’ll provide a few of the basics to help you understand the differences so you can make informed decisions.

Desktop printer refers to the actual piece of hardware including laser printers and ink jet printers used in homes and businesses. They are usually small enough to fit on a desk or table, but are also available as larger floor-model printers. A digital file is sent to a desktop printer connected to a computer (or its network) and the printed page is available in a short while. Desktop printers are available in a wide range of prices based on size and capabilities. When considering the purchase of a desktop printer, you should take into account the price of laser and ink jet cartridges or refills, the price of replacing a drum, the price of maintenance and repair, the price of the paper, the cost of your personnel’s time to make purchases and deal with all of these issues as well as the time spent actually printing the job. When you do the math, the purchase price of the desktop printer itself is minimal in comparison to all the supplies and expenses related to it.

The commercial printer is actually a business and its employees or “professional printers”. This is Arrow Printing Company—a print shop which has a team of people, printers (machines) for digital printing and also printing presses for offset lithography and other commercial printing processes. A commercial printer is a company that prints a file using one of a variety of methods, often involving a printing press, but depending upon the quantity you want, may be done as “digital printing” or a glorified desktop publishing method similar to, but better than, those used by the general public.

“Talk to your printer” is not something you can do with your office desktop printer machine, although there are times you may wish you could! Computer instructions that say “send document to your printer” could refer to the person (commercial printer) or the machine (desktop printer). You have the choice of hitting the print button in your software to send it to a machine in your office, or attaching your file to an email or uploading a file to Arrow as your print shop or “service provider” for commercial printing. Ask us about your print jobs. We make printing easy, without hassle for you. Compare your in-office printing dilemma to using our services. You could save more time and money than you thought possible, plus, get printed documents that represent the quality you desire. Consider printer jams or running out of ink in the middle of a print job—the headaches you can avoid by dealing with the professional Arrow team, not just a machine.

By emailing or using our website for an online upload, your files can be in our office in minutes. You can send a file to print-on-demand (POD) or to discuss pricing or other aspects such as creative services to enhance the information in your document. Professional printing services have become faster, more economical and easier-than-ever with today’s technology. Your file will be stored in our system so that your reprint jobs are just a call or a click away.

No job is too big or too small. We determine which equipment your file will be printed on by the quantity you need. Some clients have software capable of producing the type of files directly needed for large quantity commercial offset printing (with a press), but may not understand the technicalities of how to properly create files to print on a device that best suits the job. We are experienced in working with clients to train them to make the best use of their resources. If your software lacks what is needed to create the required files, we have the expertise to convert any document to meet the output requirements of the device that best suits your project. If you have questions about what programs to use or purchase, we are available to help you choose desktop publishing software that will help you meet your needs.