What is the difference between a Wide-Format Printer and a Production Printer? | FAQ

You asked, and we answer. Sometimes it isn’t clear which devices are the devices your business need. In this blog, we explore wide format and production printers, their differences and the value the bring to different types of businesses.

Wide format printers and a production printers are both types of printing equipment used for different purposes and applications. Here’s a breakdown of their key differences:

What is the difference between a Wide-Format Printer and a Production Printer?

Wide Format Printers

A wide format printer is designed for printing large-scale graphics, such as posters, banners, signage, and architectural drawings. It can accommodate media sizes ranging from 18 inches to several feet in width, allowing for the creation of oversized prints. Wide format printers use inkjet or toner-based technology to produce high-quality output and often offer a range of color options.

Key Features of Wide Format Printers:

  1. Large Print Sizes: Wide format printers can handle prints larger than the standard paper sizes used in regular office printers.
  2. Specialized Media Handling: They can accommodate a wide range of media types, including vinyl, canvas, fabric, and various specialty papers.
  3. High-Quality Output: Wide format printers are capable of producing detailed and vibrant prints suitable for advertising, marketing, and artistic applications.
  4. Individual Print Jobs: They are ideal for individual print jobs where customization and unique designs are required.
  5. Relatively Lower Volume: Wide format printers are not typically designed for high-volume printing, and their print speeds may be slower compared to production printers.

Production Printers

A production printer, also known as a digital production press or digital press, is a high-speed printing device primarily used for high-volume commercial printing. It is commonly employed in settings like print shops, publishing companies, and packaging industries. Production printers utilize advanced digital printing technologies, such as laser or LED, to achieve rapid and efficient printing of large quantities.

Key Features of Production Printers:

  1. High-Speed Printing: Production printers excel in speed and can print hundreds or thousands of pages per minute, making them suitable for mass production.

  2. Precise and Consistent Quality: These printers deliver consistent print quality throughout large print runs, ensuring uniformity across all copies.

  3. Versatile Paper Handling: Production printers can handle a wide range of paper weights, sizes, and finishes, including glossy and coated papers.

  4. Inline Finishing Options: Some production printers offer additional features like stapling, folding, hole punching, and booklet making as part of the printing process.

  5. Workflow Integration: Production printers often have advanced software and workflow solutions to manage complex print jobs, variable data printing, and customization.

In summary, while both wide format printers and production printers serve specific printing needs, wide format printers are best suited for large-format graphics and individual print jobs, whereas production printers excel in high-speed, high-volume commercial printing with precise quality and finishing options.


What business verticals would want to lease a wide format printer?

Several industries benefit from leasing wide format printers to meet their specific printing requirements. Here are some industries that often find wide format printers useful:

  1. Advertising and Marketing: Advertisers and marketing agencies often need large-format prints for billboards, posters, banners, and signage to promote their products or services.

  2. Architecture and Engineering: Professionals in the architecture, engineering, and construction fields require wide format printers to print detailed architectural plans, blueprints, technical drawings, and diagrams.

  3. Graphic Design and Printing: Graphic design firms, print shops, and companies involved in the production of brochures, flyers, catalogs, and other promotional materials utilize wide format printers to achieve high-quality, visually appealing prints.

  4. Retail and Point-of-Sale (POS): Retail businesses often require large format prints for in-store displays, window graphics, floor graphics, and point-of-sale materials to enhance their branding and attract customers.

  5. Photography and Fine Art: Photographers, artists, and galleries use wide format printers to produce high-quality prints of their photographs, artwork, and reproductions for exhibitions, sales, or personal portfolios.

  6. Textile and Fashion: The textile and fashion industry relies on wide format printers for printing patterns, designs, and graphics on fabrics, garments, and accessories.

  7. Event Management and Trade Shows: Event organizers often need large signage, banners, backdrops, and graphics for trade shows, conferences, exhibitions, and other events.

  8. Education and Research: Educational institutions, research facilities, and universities may lease wide format printers to print educational posters, charts, maps, and scientific visual aids.

  9. Interior Design and Decor: Interior designers and decorators use wide format printers to print wallpapers, murals, floor graphics, and custom artwork for enhancing interior spaces.

  10. Real Estate and Property Development: Real estate agents, property developers, and architects utilize wide format printers to create large-scale site maps, floor plans, and property signage.

Leasing a wide format printer allows these industries to access the necessary equipment without incurring the high upfront costs associated with purchasing.

Additionally, leasing provides flexibility to upgrade to newer models as technology evolves and to adjust the equipment to changing business needs.


What industries would want to lease a production printer?

Leasing a production printer can be advantageous for several industries that require high-volume and high-speed printing capabilities. Here are some industries that often find production printers beneficial:

  1. Printing and Copying Services: Print shops, commercial printing companies, and reprographic centers often lease production printers to handle large-scale printing jobs for their clients, including brochures, flyers, booklets, and other marketing materials.

  2. Publishing: Book publishers, magazine publishers, and newspaper companies utilize production printers to print large quantities of books, magazines, newspapers, and other printed publications efficiently and cost-effectively.

  3. Packaging and Labeling (CPG): Industries involved in packaging and labeling, such as food and beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods, lease production printers to print product labels, packaging materials, tags, and other packaging components.

  4. Direct Mail and Marketing: Direct mail companies and marketing firms that specialize in personalized marketing campaigns often lease production printers to handle variable data printing, allowing them to customize each printed piece for individual recipients.

  5. Financial Services: Banks, insurance companies, and financial institutions may lease production printers to handle high-volume printing of statements, invoices, transactional documents, and other financial paperwork.

  6. Education and Government: Educational institutions, government agencies, and public offices often require printing large volumes of documents, forms, reports, and educational materials. Leasing production printers helps meet their printing demands efficiently.

  7. Manufacturing and Distribution: Manufacturing facilities and distribution centers may lease production printers to print shipping labels, barcodes, packaging materials, and product documentation required for their operations.

  8. Event Management and Trade Shows: Event management companies and trade show organizers may lease production printers to print event programs, badges, signage, and other promotional materials for large-scale events.

  9. Healthcare and Medical Facilities: Hospitals, clinics, and medical offices often have significant printing needs, including patient records, medical forms, prescriptions, and informational brochures, making production printers a valuable asset.

  10. Legal Services: Law firms, legal departments, and courts require high-volume printing for legal documents, contracts, court filings, and other legal paperwork, making production printers a practical choice.

Leasing production printers allows these industries to handle their printing requirements efficiently, with the ability to scale up or down as needed without a significant upfront investment. It also provides access to advanced features and technology, such as inline finishing options and variable data printing, enhancing productivity and meeting specific industry demands.

What ever your business needs are, the best first step is always a Risk Free Print Environment Assessment. Reach out today to get yours scheduled!


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