We often see newspapers getting printed at an ultra-fast speed in movies or dramas. We see a continuous stream of newspapers rotating over enormous cylinders in a room-size printing machine. Well, this scenario is from a web press. So, what is web press printing? How does it work? 

Newspapers are very common in our life, but most consumers don’t know about web press printing. Fortunately, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about web press printing. So, please stick with me till the end.

What is Web Press Printing?

For commercial clients, web press printing is a premium printing option. Huge commercial print companies like Print Britannia provide web press services to them. 

Though the name may suggest otherwise, the web press machine is originally an amplified version of classic lithography. It is also called a roll-fed press. It is a modern and modified offset print press that is attached to a gigantic roll of paper. The paper rolls are so massive that each can weigh up to one ton. As the paper unrolls, it creates an undisturbed “web” like structure. 

The series of rollers are called festoons. They secure the papers in place, keeping them taut and feeding into a printer at the same time. Festoons can also adjust the speed of moving papers.

However, after printing, the papers go for separation and cutting. The web press providers use a large paper roll for a faster and continuously streamlined production. 

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The festoons usually splice new paper rolls in place of the old ones. As a result, the printing does not stop, although the rolls end. The whole process is supervised by a press operator, but printing and splicing is an automated process.

Clients who usually require enormous print runs like 50,000 or more look for web press print providers. It is also a very cost-friendly option for low batches like 1000 to 2000. 

Web press printing meets a variety of printing requirements and provides for different types of clients. Web press printers produce high volume print runs like: 

  • Books 
  • Magazines
  • Directories
  • Manuals
  • Brochures
  • Catalogs
  • Packaging  

Why do Clients Choose Web Press Printing?

Professional publications choose a web press printing method for exclusive print services. Their choice usually depends on volume capacity, cost-effectiveness, superior quality, and fast processing.

High volume capacity

No printing method can beat web press print for huge runs. To fulfill the necessity of higher page counts and massive distribution, it is the top choice for printing books, magazines, and catalogs. 


For every client, detail matters the most. Web press printing provides the best quality prints with perfect detailing.  

Low-cost printing

As professional publications need huge productions, they search for a budget-friendly option. For them, nothing can be so cost-effective as web press printing. Web presses are comfortable with your changeable options. Whether you choose lighter paper or heavier, they are compatible with either one. They provide cheaper storage and distribution costs.

Fast delivery

We can assume from the newspaper delivery system how fast a web press can be! Newspapers are delivered every morning with all the fresh and latest news. So, there is no doubt about the web press being fast. It has a production speed of 3000 feet every minute or more. Meeting tight deadlines is their priority.  

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Difference Between a Web Press and a Sheet-fed Press

Sheetfed press and web press fall in the same category in terms of the production process, but they have some major differences. Such as: 

  • Quality: The image quality of the sheet press is better than the web press. But the commercial clients usually ignore this due to the immense economic advantages of web press printing.
  • Speed: Web press is usually 3 to 5 times faster than sheetfed press. 
  • Size: The machines and equipment of the web press are much larger than the sheetfed press. 
  • Energy: The web press requires gas for running the ovens, and for this, it needs an internal cooling system. Sheetfed press doesn’t require such arrangement.
  • Raw materials: Web press works with rolls of paper. But sheetfed press print on individual sheets of paper. 
  • Production capacity: We already know web press is for massive production. But sheet press is for small and short runs.

Advantages of Web Press Printing

We can already assume the advantages of web press printing. Still, they are clarified for you. 

  • The way is faster than traditional sheet-fed presses. 
  • It has a lower paper cost for the paper rolls.
  • It manages all the binding and folding in line. That is why the products are almost ready when they come out of the press. 
  • It reduces both the overhead and production times. 

Disadvantages of Web Press Printing

Sometimes the owners and the operators may experience some disadvantages. Such as: 

  • It can be more expensive than sheet-fed press printing. 
  • It usually requires large and heavy equipment.
  • Many operators are needed to supervise.
  • It is loud when the machines run. Sometimes it may require a sound dampening system.  
  • It is a large infrastructure with huge power requirements.
  • It produces a heavy amount of wastage and thus is not eco-friendly.  
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However, at some point, the disadvantages get overlooked. Because the long print runs are extremely cost-efficient in web press printing than other printing methods. But, shorter print runs can be costly in this case. 

Design concerns

If you have a publication that requires web press print providers, then you probably don’t need any adjustments with page layout software. Every big print company that has a web press service uses software to manage the imposition of your documents. So, you don’t need to bother, and you can change the page layout anytime. Nevertheless, consult with the printing company you are going to choose and ask if they have any particular guidelines for you to follow.  


So, what is web press printing? I hope you have been properly introduced to this viable printing method. It’s mostly used for its speed and high production capacity. Most of us don’t know much about this printing method, but we use its service every single day unknowingly. 

Now, if you start a publication and need a web press, then consider the pros and cons we have listed here. Don’t forget to recheck our suggestions before choosing web press printing. 

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