Digital or Litho Printing?

Monday 14th August 2017

One of the most vital advancements in human history is the invention of printing.

As is known, printing has allowed mass production of books and scriptures, which in return, made knowledge available to anybody seeking an education of some sort.

Today, the two prominent ways of printing are digital and litho printing. So, what are these two types of printing and which will suit your project better?

Litho Printing

Litho printing which is formally known as lithography printing uses printing plates in which each plate prints a specific single colour: cyan, magenta, yellow or black (CMYK).

Briefly, the artwork to be printed is set up on a computer and split into the four colours and sent to the printer. The plates are then collected by the printer and coated in the corresponding coloured ink via small ink rollers.

As the paper manoeuvres through the printer, the plates print their colours which combine to form a full-colour print.

When to use Litho printing?

Litho printing is mainly used for large quantities of printed pages such as book production and is increasingly cost effective at larger quantities.

Litho printing offers the best print quality and can provide solid colour on large print areas such as posters.

The colours that this form of printing offers is also important for standardisation of a company brand and the consistency throughout all their printable material.

Digital or Litho Printing?

Digital Printing

Digital printing is a process involving the reproduction of electronic files such as Word documents and PDFs using four colours of ink which is dotted to produce an image.

This is achievable by inkjet or laser printers which pigment the paper with colour.

Unlike Litho printing, digital printing does not require the use of printing plates or wet ink. This results in less chemical waste, lower costs and no drying time.

Digital printing is considered cost effective at small quantities for projects such as short run book printing and production.

However, there are many other considerations to account for when deciding between Litho and digital printing such as:

  • Type and weight of material
  • Run length
  • Lead time
  • Quality
  • Range of colours and inks

For more information regarding digital and litho printing, call us today on 01233 211200 or fill out our contact form.

Published by: Orbital Print Ltd

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