Digital printing is an advanced printing technology that uses digital files for printing instead of the conventional printing plates used in offset printing. It has a short turnaround time; it is also known as “on-demand production printing.” Digital printing service are a popular choice for small printing jobs.
Digital printing has a higher cost per page than offset printing. Still, the additional steps are usually set off in preparing the printing plates in traditional printing. Offset printing commands a dominant position in printing, but it is gradually being replaced by digital printing.
What Are the Advantages of Digital Printing?
Digital Printing has many advantages over traditional methods of printing like:
Customisation: digital printing allows the freedom to change one printed piece’s elements like text, images, and graphics to the next without slowing down the printing speed. This process is known as Variable Data Printing (VDP). VDP is especially useful for sending direct mails to clients.
Full colour and gradation print: digital printing gives the freedom to choose from a wide range of colours without limitations, which is impossible with traditional offset printing. It is easier to create a single sample, making it easier to colour match with the original design before the final production.
Quick delivery: digital printing has a short turnaround time as, unlike lithographic printing, there is no need to prepare printing plates. Because of the low set up time, it is a popular choice for small printing jobs. In large scale printing jobs, offset printing works better.
Low cost for small printing job: The per piece cost of digital printing is high, but for small printing jobs, it is cheaper as there is no need to prepare printing plates. However, for large printing orders, offset printing is economical. The per-piece cost of printing in offset reduces with the increase in the number of prints.
On-demand production: Production of small quantities is easily possible and viable in digital printing as no set up is required before printing. Data on digital file can be printed directly. It has opened the possibility of self-publication of books by the authors to reach out to their audience.
Versatility: Digital printing is versatile, making it possible to print on different 3000 different substrates, including synthetics, darks and metallics. In addition to the standard prints, it is possible to allow glossy finish, textured print, and embossed effects.
Environment friendly: Digital printing reduces ink wastages as it is released only to the parts where printing is needed, reducing the environmental footprints. It also reduces the process of cleaning the plates when the job is done.
What Are the Disadvantages of Digital Printing?
Digital printing offers many advantages over traditional printing. However, there are certain disadvantages that one might want to consider while choosing digital printing over offset printing:
Not suitable for super-size orders: For large projects that require printing of over 10,000 copies, offset printing is a better option. Per page printing speed of digital printing is far less as compared to offset printing. So, the time saved on setting up printing plates is insignificant in large orders compared to digital printers’ printing speed.
Digital inks do not comply with FDA regulations of food packaging: In cases where the printed product will be used as labelling, which comes in direct contact with food, digital inks are not permitted. Special inks approved by FDA needs to be used, which does not work well in digital printers.
The durability of digital inks is low: In cases where the printed product is subjected to sunlight, fading will happen if it is printed using digital printing. Fading does not occur with inks used in most digital printers.
Digital printing is the latest technology in printing; the turnaround time of digital printing is less when compared to traditional printing, especially for small orders. Digital marketing is becoming a popular choice for on-demand printing and customised printing. However, offset printing offers certain benefits like faster and durable printing for large scale orders. When choosing among the two options, it is essential to consider what printing method works best for your needs.