Bringing Marketing In-House with a Light Production Printer

Does your company currently outsource the printing of marketing materials, but feel this process could be improved upon or made less expensive? Bringing this tasks in-house using a light production printer might be worth considering. This analysis piece will discuss the benefits of light production technology from a marketing perspective.

Light production printing defined

Light production printers go beyond the capabilities of office-class printers to deliver faster speeds, higher duty cycles, wider media support, and more finishing options. The following table shows common characteristics of light production printers.

Common characteristics of light production printers

Feature Guideline
Speed 70 pages per minute considered minimum print speed for a monochrome light production printer
Duty cycle Color light production systems tend to have duty cycle of between 101,000 and 300,000 impressions per month
Media support Light production systems frequently support use of heavier paper stocks as well as coated and uncoated stock. In some cases, media like plastic, window clings, magnets, postcards, and textured linen may also be supported.
Finishing options Frequently go beyond stapling, saddle stitching, and hole punching to also offer booklet-making, sorting, extended stacking, folding, trimming, and more

Benefits of light production printing for in-house marketing

Using a light production print system for in-house marketing may provide benefits around convenience, turnaround time, cost savings, print quality, and personalization.

Convenience and turnaround time

Having an in-house production system means never having to wait for a third-party print shop to get around to one’s order. It allows organizations to react much more quickly to newfound marketing and advertising opportunities. Proofing and test runs can be conducted in-house, letting businesses accelerate final printing.

Cost savings

It’s not an absolute given, but in many cases having on-site print shop capability can result in significant cost savings. This is particularly the case when a company has large expenses for outside printing and media creation. To determine potential cost savings, organizations would need to perform a financial analysis of both approaches.

Print quality

With no back and forth between an organization and outside print service, mistakes can be identified and corrected almost immediately—helping avoid potential issues down the road. Organizations can also expect enhanced color capability. Compared to office printers and copiers, in-house light production devices provide better color matching, calibration, and control.


Light production printers support variable data printing (or VDP) for media personalization. With variable data printing, information (from a separate file) is merged with a document at the time of printing—resulting in a personalized piece of marketing material. Individualized and targeted media gives customers the impression that a product or service is specifically aimed at their needs—helping boost response rates.


Marketing pieces benefit from the professional look that a light production system can bring to the table. Finishers such as booklet makers let you create more complex, visually interesting, and informative handouts and mailers. Having these capabilities allows businesses to experiment with different approaches in their marketing materials.

Acquisition cost of light production printers

Similar to office-class print devices, light production printers have seen their price drop as more manufacturers enter the market. While these devices may have previously been out of reach for many organizations, they can now be purchased for not much more than a high-end office print device.

3 takeaways

  • Organizations can produce their own marketing materials through the use of a light production printer.
  • Light production printers provide advanced capabilities over office-grade products, including superior print speeds, duty cycles, and media support.
  • Potential benefits of using a light production printer for in-house marketing include increased convenience and turnaround time, cost savings, and output personalization capability.