Which is best for your print job – Digital or Litho?

Digital Print

Which is best for your print job – Digital or Litho?

When it comes to printing, there’s a number of different types available depending on what it is that you require. The two most popular types of print tend to be digital printing and lithography. We take a look at which printing will work best for your print job, litho print or digital.

Digital Printing

Digital printing is a four colour process reproduction method that uses electronic files and dots of colour to produce an image using toner or ink. Unlike litho, no printing plates are required during the process, which means there is less waste of chemicals and paper.

Digital print

Although printing digitally offer quick and quality printing it doesn’t come with a protective coating over the top, which means the printed item isn’t protected from marking or light damage.

Digital printing shows cracking when folded. However, the items are primarily designed as documentation or for mass amount of a specific product.

Digital offers one of the fastest printing process, and meaning it can quickly produce short run printing with ease.

The benefits

  • Very cost effective
  • Great for small businesses
  • Quick turnaround on printed items
  • No drying time is needed
  • Can handle short print runs with ease
  • Changes can easily be main to the main document


Offset Lithography Printing

When it comes to offset lithography printing, this process involves an inked image being transferred from a printing plate to a rubber blanket, then the image is transferred back onto the paper. Most of this printing is done through a standard of four colour printing processes.

Next, the artwork is separated into four different printing plates, each plate will print to a specific single colour. The four colours used during the printing will include cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Together these four colours combine and create a full colour print. Additional printing plates can also be added to the process, should you need to print spot colours and special inks these can also be added for nonstandard colours.

Litho print

When it comes to litho printing, a significant amount of cost is attributed to getting the process ready, from making the plates to spare materials. So usually, this printing process is most commonly used for long run print projects.

Although most commonly used with a 4 or less colour base, this type of printing isn’t limited to it. Spot or special types of ink can be added to enhance the printed item. Litho is also a great way to print large areas of solid colour, the colour will come out smoother and no pixels can be seen.

Some latest additions to litho include computer to plate making (CTP) this has resulted in a quicker plate making process. Modern computer controlled presses can speed up the process of colour control and getting plates into accurate register.

Litho printing is great for a number of materials, especially when it comes to advertising your business, including flyers, leaflets and brochures, as well as number of other projects.

The benefits

  • Better for long run printing
  • Higher quality printing on solid colours
  • Litho has steady pricing across the quantity printed
  • Consistently high quality images
  • CTP offer quick plate production


So both digital and litho printing come with a range of advantages, if you’re still not sure what to go for, simply call our team who will be more than happy to help.

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