What Is Digital Printing? Pros, Cons And Everything You Should Know

If you’ve been searching around for printing companies, you’ve likely came across “digital printing” a time or two. While many people are familiar with the term “digital,” as it pertains to printing, a lot of people are not sure exactly what digital printing involves.

Digital Printing Definition

Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. Meaning: It goes directly from your PDF file, for instance, straight to the digital printer. There is no need to create any plates, and setup time is a fraction of the time offset printing would take.

Digital printing usually refers to professional printing where small-run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large-format and/or high-volume laser (like the Xerox 800 pictured below, one of many digital printers that we use here at Replica Printing) or inkjet printers.

Benefits Of Digital Prints

Digital printing has a wide range of benefits and perks;

  • Ability For Small Print Runs
  • High Quality Printing
  • Fast Turnaround Time
  • Lower Cost Per Unit
  • Easy To Provide Printed Proof

Digital printing continues to grow in popularity and as technology continues to improve, so does the quality of the work. With short turnarounds, lower cost and high quality output, digital printing is a great solution for many projects you have.

Another big benefit of digital prints is customizations. Since there is no permanent plate to deal with, if it turns out there is a spelling or design error on a printed proof, the file can be easily modified before the print run continues. It is very flexible that way.

Offset printing is a commonly used technique in which the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. The problem with offset printing is that there is very little room for error. The plates need to be created first before printing can proceed. This prevents the ability to see a printed proof first (Note: It can be done with offset, but is very costly). It also requires much larger runs to justify the creation of the plates. It does take more time to produce a print run as well.

Offset printing is still a highly effective printing method. Most large scale print runs, recurring publications and other things like it do benefit from the factory-like process of offset prints. Learn More: What Is Offset Printing

However, if you are a business owner and need something printed fast, while still maintaining a high quality and want to see a printed proof before your job gets started, this is where digital printing has advantages.

Drawbacks Of Digital Prints

While digital printing is a great printing method versus any other printing methods, it does have a few drawbacks.

One drawback of digital printing is that it has a higher cost per page than other traditional offset printing methods, but this price is usually offset by avoiding the cost of setups needed to make printing plates.

Another drawback of this printing method is the fact that there could be a loss of some fine-image detail by most commercial digital printing processes. Even so, the pros greatly outweigh the cons, and as digital printing technology progresses, the difference in print quality between digital and analog is far less.

If you own a business and need print work, digital print is a great way to go.

IF you’re not sure what printing method is best for your project, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can reach us at 615-889-1200 or you can use our contact form, just click here. We’d be more than happy to answer all your printing questions, talk to one of our printing experts today.