WHAT IS DIGITAL PRINTING?
Digital printing uses a digitised image, made up of pixels, to lay down toner on to paper or other materials, to reproduce high quality images. The technology has one through rapid development and can now offer high quality, fast turnaround, cost effective solutions for low print runs. There’s very little time or initial setup costs for digital printing, so it has given consumers the freedom to experiment and be creative. Results are instant, and a fast turnaround means you can print materials as you need them, rather than wait days or weeks.
It is very cost effective as you can print smaller quantities instead of printing thousands, which also saves you a lot of space. Since it is digital the output is fast and it makes it easier to meet deadlines. You can change your company information or marketing leaflets as often as you like by printing smaller quantities, helping to reduce waste and easily update changes. Each individual printed item can have different information on it, such as printing tickets with unique numbers or names, giving you access to variable printing.
After a certain quantity litho printing becomes more cost effective so the longer the print run, the more cost-effective it will be. Also some special types of paper cannot be printed digitally, for example highly textured paper or 400gsm thick business cards.
WHAT IS LITHO PRINTING?
Litho printing, also known as offset litho, is the traditional way of printing and has dominated the print industry for very many years. It is a process whereby an image is created on a plate, transferred onto a blanket before being transferred onto the paper. However, as digital printing which is relatively new continues to develop, litho printing is being seen as an outdated time-consuming method of production. To the average person, the differences between litho and digital print are often impossible to spot.
Litho printing is the most cost-effective method to produce a long print run. It is also possible to print on a wider range of material weights and textures than with digital printing. Litho printing can accurately reproduce the entire range of Pan tone spot colours. Quality can be brilliant, the material range is vast and speed (apart from the initial setup) is exceptionally fast.
The only real drawback of litho printing is the setup cost to create the plates and get the job ready for press. For smaller print runs there will be a point at which digital printing is more effective in terms of time and cost.