Case Studies

Transitioning High Quality Low Volume Titles from Offset to Digital Inkjet

Situation (Challenge)

Today publishers are increasingly in search of ways to do more with less. This especially holds true when it comes to printing their titles. As they look for ways to print more economically and reduce inventory and associated costs, many choose to transition from offset printing to digital printing. But what happens when you produce high-quality museum titles, some with pages full of vibrant color? Since digital inkjet printing offers a reduced set of options across the industry as compared to offset, how can you ensure the materials used to produce your titles will fit that print platform?

Dumbarton Oaks needed help developing a plan to transition low volume reprints of select four-color and black-only titles from an offset press platform to the digital inkjet platform. They had successfully moved their four-color annual report from offset to digital inkjet and the switch proved that through using the digital inkjet press, it was possible to achieve a similar print quality as an offset run. So, how could they achieve the same results with other high quality black-only and four-color titles?  


Working together with their Sheridan Account Team, a plan was established to evaluate each title as the need for reprinting arose based on the current inventory level and demand. The process begins with Dumbarton Oaks selecting the titles with a reprint quantity of 750 copies or less that could be successfully transitioned from offset to digital inkjet printing. Next, leaning on Sheridan for their experience and knowledge of what would work best in each situation, they collaborate with their Sheridan team to review the books’ content, its printing specifications, and the original materials used during the previous offset printing. Sheridan then suggests alternate text stocks and binding options that are compatible with the inkjet production. Finally, Dumbarton Oaks creates a print and bind order with the new specifications that conforms to digital inkjet production and submits it to Sheridan.


The approach Dumbarton Oaks and Sheridan are taking is a true example of teamwork and communication—a collaboration to determine the appropriate production process on a title by title basis—with the goal of transitioning books from offset to digital inkjet printing during the reprint process.

“The Sheridan team makes this process painless for us,” remarks Dumbarton Oaks. “We strive to provide valuable contributions in our specialist fields, and many of the books contain content on archaeological and art historical subjects requiring good quality color and black-and-white printing. As a small scholarly press with few members that wear many hats, it is great to have the experienced and enthusiastic team from Sheridan to help us transition titles across a wide spectrum of production, and keep these titles in print. We really consider Sheridan a valuable partner to our publications staff.”

In the end, Dumbarton Oaks not only has an alternate print method to produce their selected low volume reprints, they also receive a high quality product that their readers can enjoy for years to come.

Products and Services Used

  • Sheridan Digital Printing

Company Profile

Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks publishes scholarly series in their dedicated fields of study and catalogs to match their many collections. Publishing projects are dedicated to continuity of advanced scholarship in the fields of Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies.


About Sheridan

Sheridan is a leading provider of print, publishing services, and technology solutions to publishers, associations, university presses, and catalogers. A division of CJK Group, Inc., Sheridan has nine U.S.-based production facilities; each location has a market specialty that supports books, scholarly journals, reprints, magazines, or catalogs.