What Is a Web Press? Everything to Know About Web Press Printing

A web press is a printing press that uses a continuous roll of paper. This method of printing is typically used to produce magazine and newspaper publications. Web press printing is designed for high-volume, high-speed printing jobs.

Keep reading to learn more about the different types of web presses, how they differ from other presses (especially sheet press), and more.

How Does a Web Press Work?

In a web press, the paper is fed from a large roll or reel, rather than individual sheets. The paper web is fed through a series of printing units, where the images or text are transferred onto the paper using offset printing technology. The material is held tight by rollers as it is woven through the press, which is why it is called a web press. 

In some cases, the ink is transferred onto uncoated paper in a cold application process, which is used for smaller runs. Larger runs require a heated transfer of ink onto coated paper. 

If you have a specific printing job in mind – you’ll want to reach out to the experts at Print Bind Ship. We’re one of the leading printing companies in North America that operates some of the most advanced printers on the market. From newspapers, books, calendars, pamphlets, postcards, manuals, and more – we do it all!

Get in touch for a free quote for your project!

What Type of Publications Do Web Presses Print?

Web presses are used for high-volume runs of printed material. Usually, magazines or newspapers are printed on web presses. Books, manuals, and calendars are also printed on web presses if they have large enough quantities to make the runs cost-effective. Many businesses will also choose a web press for direct mail pieces, inserts, promotional flyers, and much more.

Types of Web Presses

There are two types of web presses, those being coldset and heatset. Coldset web presses run lower volumes at a slower speed allowing the ink to dry onto non-coated paper. Heatset presses use heat lamps to set the ink and it is then transferred onto coated paper at a high rate of speed. 

Difference Between Coldset and Heatset

The difference between coldset and heatset presses are the manner in which the ink is applied to the paper. A coldset press applies the ink to the paper where it dries, whereas the heatset method uses lamps to set the impression and transfer it to glossy paper at a much faster rate of speed. 


Coldset printing is a process in which the ink is transferred from the plate to the paper and then evaporates, leaving the printed impression. 


Heatset printing is a process in which the ink is heated by lamps, drying the ink as it is transferred to a glossy paper. 

Advantages of Web Presses

There are many advantages to using a web press over a digital press, such as cost-effectiveness, high quality, and speedy production. 

1. High-Quality

Web presses use the latest technologies and advanced color-matching systems to create the highest quality, most consistent prints possible. 

2. Detail-Oriented 

Today’s web presses allow you to program various details, such as specific color hues, the selection of specific inks, paper sizes, and thickness, which all allow for extremely detail-oriented prints. 

3. Low-Cost

The cost of a roll of paper is cheaper than its sheet-fed equivalent. Also, once the web press is running, the cost of overhead begins to diminish. Lastly, the device handles folding and creasing which can yield a finished product, quickly. 

4. Fast Delivery 

Many web presses can produce 3,000 sheets per minute, which allows newspaper and magazine publishers to deliver their products on time, daily, which is critical in the ever-changing news cycle of the modern world. 

5. High Volume 

High volume refers to web press runs of 10,000 to 50,000 prints, which is common for books, catalogs, directories, manuals, magazines, and newspapers. The web press can produce high volumes in a short amount of time. 

Disadvantages of Web Presses

There are also a few disadvantages to using a web press, such as operational overhead. 

1. Expensive Equipment

Web presses are costly which creates a high overhead as an upfront cost. 

2. Larger Equipment

Web presses are massive devices that require space and power to operate.

3. Require Multiple Operators

Devices of this magnitude often require two expert operators to run, which is more overhead.

4. Higher Prep Costs 

Web presses cost more time and materials to set up for the runs than a sheet fed press. 

Web Press vs Sheet Press

The main difference between web presses vs sheet presses is how the paper is fed into the press. The web press uses a roll whereas the sheet press uses individual sheets of paper. 

Web presses are designed for high-volume, continuous printing on large rolls or webs of paper, making them ideal for printing newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and other long-run publications. On the other hand, sheet-fed presses print on individual sheets of paper, making them more suitable for shorter runs and jobs that require frequent changes or customization, such as brochures, flyers, and business cards.

While web presses offer higher production speeds and lower costs for large print runs, sheet-fed presses provide greater flexibility and better registration for precise, high-quality printing on a wide range of paper stocks and sizes.

Web Presses Make Efficient, Low-Cost, Fast Delivery Possible

Efficiency and cost-effectiveness are key when it comes to high-volume printing projects. Web press printing offers unparalleled production speeds, making it the ideal solution for large print runs of materials such as catalogs, magazines, direct mail pieces, and more.

At Print Bind Ship, we understand the intricacies of web press printing and have invested in state-of-the-art equipment to deliver exceptional quality and turnaround times.

Our team of experienced professionals will work closely with you to ensure your project meets the highest standards. With our comprehensive range of web press printing services, coupled with our unwavering commitment to customer service, you can trust Print Bind Ship to be your reliable partner for all your high-volume printing needs.

Contact us for a free quote and learn more about how we can streamline your printing process!


What types of materials are commonly printed on a web press?

Web presses are designed to handle a wide variety of paper stocks, from lightweight newsprint to heavier coated papers, making them versatile for various commercial printing applications. They’re popular for newspapers, magazines, catalogs, direct mail pieces, inserts, promotional flyers, books, manuals, and much more.

Why is web press printing better than digital?

Web press printing is better than digital because it uses individual plates that do not transfer ink directly to the substrate, allowing efficient, large quantity runs and exact color matching for higher quality results.

How many feet per minute does a web press run?

A web press can run from 300 feet per minute to 3000 feet per minute.