The improvements in digital technology have seen a great transformation in the printing industry, including a proliferation in print on demand services. Print on demand services offers many advantages, such as streamlining operations, improving efficiency and being more eco-friendly.

What is print on demand digital printing?

Print on demand (POD) uses digital technology and allows for the printing of even very small quantities. There is no minimum print order. Printing does not happen until an order is received and production runs are usually short. For example, a customer as able to order 50 copies of a product catalog if that is all that’s required.

Digital printing’s origins are in the Xerox technology of the 1950s. This relied on laser imaging to transfer image data to paper. The early digital printing systems only offered low resolution but the one’s today offer incredible quality.

A digital printing press operates quite like a desktop printer but it is much bigger and faster. More importantly, it offers a much better quality. It also performs more functions and has a greater number of paper choices. Variations in quality when using digital printing depend on how the ink hits the paper as well as the type of ink and paper used.

Digital files are electronically transferred to the digital printing press, which applies ink directly to paper. Being able to print without using plates is the main benefit of digital printing as making plates is costly and time-consuming.

Traditional offset printing methods (applying ink to paper using a printing press) are still the economical choice when printing large quantities. As it takes time and costs more to make plates and set up the presses, this generally translates to a higher cost per unit when production runs are short.

When to use on-demand printing

If you find that your business requires printing of short runs of books, manuals, catalogs and other multi-page documents throughout the year, on-demand printing is the answer. It will prevent you from running out of storage space and sitting with copies you don’t need.

If you find that you’ve had to discard perfectly good printing because the material became obsolete, this is another good reason to use print on demand services.

For authors wanting to have books printed, the only upfront cost with digital printing is the price of one copy of a book. They are able to see one book in print and make changes if necessary, before having more printed.

Houston Printing Services offers one of the largest ranges of both digital and offset commercial printing services not only in Houston but in Southwest.

Why is it smart and eco-friendly?

With print on demand, you can print exactly what’s required with no chance of stock sitting in inventory and not being sold. You don’t need a huge amount of storage space and handling costs are reduced.

When using a zero-inventory model, profitability is not hinged to accurately predicting demand.

There is also practically zero waste in materials during the manufacturing process because it uses only what is necessary to produce a required number of copies.

The process is also easier to control due to printing an exact number of copies, making it a smarter and more economical option.

Digital technology allows for the production of items such as books, manuals, textbooks, yearbooks, magazines and even casing print, without the need for a minimum print order.

It is also very fast, which means less time spent waiting for an order. It’s hard to beat print on demand digital printing when it comes to efficiency, speed and eco-friendliness.


  • Bonnie is a Certified Life Coach. She received a Master's Degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago. She works to identify imbalances and deficiencies and create individualized therapies to improve overall health and wellness.