Is cheap two-colour printing possible at all?

Every now and then I am called on to design a booklet of some sort (reader, dissertation, etc), and I am always tempted to use color for subtle highlights until I am reminded of the difference between printing black and white and full colour.

What I would like to do is to print booklets (around 200 of them, of 100 to 300 pages) in two colors: black and let’s say a deep red. When I try to find prices with standard printers, it seems that this can’t be done at a significantly lower price than full colour, mostly because printers are set up for CMYK printing, and changing to black-plus-one requires cleaning the machine between jobs, and perhaps also because there isn’t much demand for it.

But it still seems to me that it should be possible to do this in a cost-effective way, for a price that isn’t much greater than printing just black. Perhaps if I’m less picky about the extra color I want, there might be some international business that can do this cheaply.

Am I dreaming, and can this kind of design only be accomplished at larger volumes, or is this doable for someone like me?


You need to find a printer who has a 2-colour press on which they print different colours each day of the week — this used to be a common practice. Neat thing is, you can get duplex printing w/ a single plate charge by using a “work-and-turn” (or similar flipping) if the piece is half the plate size or smaller.

Source : Link , Question Author : Peter , Answer Author : WillAdams

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