Do you have some digital printing projects on the horizon? Advancements in digital printing have been a time- and money-saver for many businesses. Digital presses can be quick and cost-effective, plus they produce high-quality results.
But truth be told, not all projects are ideal for digital printing. Let’s explore what makes digital printing unique and when you should opt for digital printing projects versus the traditional offset method.
What Is Digital Printing?
Simply put, digital printing is the process of using a digital press for printing. Rather than using metal plates or rubber blankets, digital printing uses toner or liquid ink (think laser or inkjet printers) to print images.
Digital printing is a much newer method compared to offset printing. In many cases, casual observers would not be able to tell the difference between a project printed on a digital press versus an offset printing method. There’s very little difference in terms of quality and color. The real difference lies in cost and total printing time.
Digital Printing Projects: When Does Digital Make Sense?
Generally, digital printing results in a lower cost and quicker turnaround time for businesses, but that’s not always the case. Take a look at when digital printing makes the most sense, so you can make the best choices for your projects:
Low Volume Print Jobs
Because set-up costs are much lower than offset printing, digital makes the most sense for low volume jobs. Whether you need one piece or 100 pieces, digital printing is much cheaper because there’s no need to create custom plates and no extensive setup required.
Offset printing takes time to set up, which means you won’t get your printed project immediately. If you need something on the fly, digital printing gives you the quickest turnaround time.
Variable Data Printing
If you’re printing variable data on your project pieces, such as unique barcodes, names, addresses, numbers, or other codes, the only way to go is digital printing. Otherwise, you’d be paying for unique metal plates for every piece, which doesn’t make financial sense.
Brands have discovered the power of using online browsing behavior to prompt personalized mail using variable printing.
Postcards, personalized marketing pieces, posters, or anything that will contain information unique to each recipient will require digital printing.
Specific Number of Prints Needed
Since there’s no setup process, low minimums, and prints can be done almost immediately, businesses can get the exact number of prints needed, even if it’s an odd number. This is ideal for many situations. You only have to pay for the number of prints you need rather than pre-defined quantities.
Lack of Special Effects or Embellishments
If you need basic colors or black and white printing, digital is usually the best way to go. Digital presses aren’t capable of printing metallic inks or custom papers or other unique embellishments.
Are Digital Printing Projects Your Best Option?
Digital printing has come a long way in recent years and continues to be the best option for a variety of projects. If you’re not sure if your project will benefit from digital printing, talk to one of our experts today and let us help you make an educated decision.