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Print: Digital-Litho-Inkjet - What do I need?

Print: Digital-Litho-Inkjet - What do I need?

As technology moves on in our ever-changing world the print industry is having to adapt rapidly! 

Digital Print, Litho Print and Wide Format Print are three completely different processes to achieve the same result.  But the very nature of each process means each has a particular area of work to which it is better suited in comparison to the others. We are in no way trying to preach to the converted, but we often get asked the difference and this post is a quick and easy guide to understanding which process works best for any particular application.

The changing print market means clients don’t necessarily distinguish between the different print processes, but the discerning client will want to understand what suits their needs best and this understanding can mean they receive…

  1. Better value for money.
  2. Higher Quality end product 
  3. Faster lead times

All of which can drive your business to grow, saving costs, winning more clients and more.

A proactive print supplier will be able to help you make the choice on which process works best for you, based on the merits of the printed product you are creating.

This is the first in a series of three posts, a Free Guide, that will give you a better knowledge and enable you to make informed decisions for your business.

Digital Print

This first post will cover the digital print process.  This has risen to prominence in the last 10 years and is often considered the poor relation in print due to its early development as photocopying technology. Digital print has left that behind and become a real player in commercial printing. Now there is a big gap through between the high street copy shop digital press and a real production digital press (and about £100k!).

Our new Ricoh 9100 Production Digital Press can run 400gsm board and the long sheet format means A4 Landscape is no longer a challenge!

What are the Benefits? 

  1. Low setup costs
  2. Low waste
  3. Short turnaround times
  4. No drying time.

What are the Challenges?

  1. Registration (image can move on the sheet)
  2. Slow on larger quantities
  3. Limited on sheet size (most presses run 450mm x 320mm)

What is Digital Print suited to?

So interesting as that may be, how does that apply to you? It depends on the project is the short answer!  We often get asked:  ‘when is litho more competitive than digital?’ or ‘how many copies can I have digital?’ The answer is of course “unlimited”! 

Digital print is capable of printing 1 million of anything but couldn’t achieve it in a sensible time (or at competitive cost); also a 2000 leaflet run would be a very different proposition in comparison with 2000 x 48pp brochures. 

In short runs digital print can produce virtually any product a litho press can, but in small quantities. When we are given a brief to quote we will also discuss what you are looking to achieve, how many you would prefer and the intended use. A village fete programme will be more about cost and timing than a corporate brochure which will need to exhibit premium quality, brand consistency and eye catching print.

The important thing to ask yourself is what is the primary function of my print – what is most important about the final product and start with that end in mind. If you are unsure or would like more advice on a specific print project – just call or email us via the web form here on the site Contact Us and we will help.


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