Choose digital print if you have a smaller run size or need to get your print out fast. With digital, there is much less ‘make ready’ time required as no plates need to be prepared.
Digital print uses electronic files (typically a PDF of your artwork) and dots of colour to produce an image using ink or toner. You won’t get the same pristine finish as litho on those larger areas of solid colour, but digital is still a very good quality finish and it’s often difficult to tell the difference between something that’s been digitally vs litho printed.
With digital, the job is produced in its finished format so there’s no additional drying time needed (as with litho).
There’s also the customisation element. Digital has the flexibility to print personalised letters, for example, whereas due to the preparation involved with litho, you’re limited by the design on the plate. That being said, you could have your letterheads printed using litho and then digitally print on the personalised letter.
When to choose digital
- Opt for digital if you have a smaller run size. Litho only becomes cost-effective when your order is high volume.
- The turnaround time for digital is quicker as there is no time needed to ‘make ready’ the job – as long as the document is saved down correctly with the correct bleed and crop marks, you’re good to go. (Find out more about this in our ultimate guide to brochure printing.)
When not to choose digital
- Don’t choose digital if your order is high volume and your artwork has large areas of colour. The finish will be better with litho so if your order quantity affords you to do this, we would recommend litho over digital.
- While we’re on the subject of colour printing, you might like to read our colour printing FAQs for useful advice on achieving perfect colours in your print work.