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Digital Versus Litho Printing

July 22nd, 2015

When it comes to printing, there will probably be two different options that you’re faced with. These concern digital or litho printing, and both methods have their advantages. Developing an understanding of both and realising which one would best suit your needs can help you make the right decision the next time you have to make a print order. Below we talk you through the basics and tell you the best examples of when the different methods should be used.

The basics

Litho printing is typically used for high volume orders. In this method of printing, images are burned onto a plate and then transferred (or offset) from the plate to a rubber blanket, and then onto a printing surface. With digital printing, you take away many of the mechanical steps that are needed for conventional printing, such as making film and plates.

Benefits of litho

With litho you get an extremely high level of image quality, and it works on several surfaces, including paper, wood, metal, leather, plastic and more. It’s cost-effective to put in larger orders when choosing litho printing, because the unit cost goes down as the quantity goes up. This makes it a good choice for high volume jobs.

Benefits of digital

With digital printing there’s a shorter turnaround time, so if you need things in a hurry then this might be your better option. You also get more accurate results with fewer variations, as every print is the same. Digital also provides cheaper low volume printing, so for small print runs this will likely be the preferred choice.

Which one is right for you?

The choice between litho and digital printing largely depends on your needs. Quantity plays a huge role, as shorter runs of litho printing will probably have a very high unit cost, which would make digital a more cost-effective option. However, if you were planning on a big order then litho would probably work out cheaper. Litho printing also offers more flexibility when it comes to the surfaces you can print on.

If you need things in a hurry then digital will usually offer a much quicker turnaround, and it also provides a better level of customisation, making it affordable to personalise marketing materials, letters and anything else. There are advantages to using both methods when it comes to your printing needs, and both are able to give you quality results that look fantastic when all is said and done. If you need more advice when it comes to digital or litho printing then get in touch with T & P Print today.