In its few year history, Blurb’s quality has improved tremendously.

How does Blurb’s print-on-demand quality compare to standard web offset press quality? Blurb delivers better quality than most offset presses where careful attention is not paid to production. Blurb doesn’t meet the best carefully overseen offset quality.

Common problems with Blurb printing include printing dark with some shadow detail loss, inconsistent neutrality and graybalance, and slight banding. Blurb’s dot structure or line screen is average, which is somewhat coarse in comparison with the finest 300 line screen offset. Blurb offers slightly better saturation compared to offset, but not six color hi-fi offset. The problems you encounter with Blurb are all common problems with offset printing if it’s not carefully overseen, which is common.

Oversight is one of the challenges with print-on-demand paradigms. It’s not practical to proof a book of one. It’s not practical to proof it again six months later with the next order. It’s unrealistic to expect an extremely low volume run to compete with a high volume run. In a high volume run, time and materials are allocated to test press conditions, carefully proof content before final printing, and maintained during a run of hundreds or even thousands. That’s why offset runs are only cost effective if you’re making a lot of books and that drives initial costs much higher and per unit costs much lower. Blurb’s offers extremely low initial costs but higher unit costs.

The Blurb revolution makes some books, that otherwise might never have been made, a reality

So, how good is Blurb’s quality?
Good enough.
And getting better all the time.

Find my Blurb book Antarctica here.

Find out about my Blurb seminars in New York April 29 and Toronto May 15.

Learn more in my Fine Art Digital Printing Workshops.


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