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Digital or Litho Print?

Published on 23 Dec 2014 in Digital Print, Litho Print, Print Matters.

To most people this question draws a blank expression, but there are clear advantages of one process over the other in equal measures!
But worry not, it is important when ordering print to know which you need for your particular needs but with these easy steps you can identify which it is you require! (although, any print supplier worth their salt should recommend the right process to suit your document)

Its digital if:-

The quantity is generally below 500 copies of a maximum A4 size full colour. (250 – 300 copies A3 size) economically produced by Digital.

Your required turnaround time is needed in a matter of hours not days.

Every page of print needs to carry a different address or name/number or to be personalised in some way making it unique from any other sheet on the same run.

The finished item, say a letterhead, is to be minimal quantity and overprinted using a cold print method such as Inkjet or cold laser printer.
Even one off prints of display materials, posters, plans, photos or test brochures/leaflets or booklets can be run as a “Tester” before the main quantity is decided on to see how it looks.

Its Litho if:-

The quantity is above 500 copies of anything up to A1 size and you have a complicated design requiring close register of colours. 500+ is more economical run on a Litho machine.

The colour needs to exactly match a Pantone colour or Metallic shade which cant be reproduced by digital. Small quantities then have to be considered, but it is very costly to do.

Its stationary and the final printed document / Letterhead needs to be overprinted by a third party on a photocopier or laser printer that uses heat transfer to apply the overprinted image. Digital cant usually be used for anything using heat to overprint an image as the original image from digital is also applied by heat and will come back off the sheet when re-heated on most Digital machines, leaving a smudge repeated down the sheet.

So if you are still unsure, then feel free to ask us! – Its what we do!