How to Choose Between Digital and Litho Printing Techniques for a Print Job

November 12, 2011 · Print This Article

Litho and digital printing are two different printing techniques that both fulfil important purposes in the printing industry. Litho, also known as offset printing, has been around for much longer than digital printing and is commonly used for bulk printing jobs. The quality that litho printing is able to produce is beyond comparison and this technique can be used on many different materials, ranging from cloth and leather to metal, paper and plastic.

Most modern litho printers make use of computer-to-plate systems to preserve the quality and integrity of detailed artwork and text. For mass production and quality finishes, litho printing remains the industry standard technique.

Digital Printing

This printing method doesn’t require printing plates – all you need is a digital copy of the image and it can be printed in an instant. Digital printing isn’t a good option for bulk printing jobs as it will be much more expensive than offset printing. However, for projects like invitations and business cards, digital printing is an excellent choice as it can modify images with every individual impression and it is perfect for quick, once-off print jobs.

Considerations when choosing the right technique for your printing job

To make sure you choose the right technique for your printing job, keep these considerations in mind:

  • The material to be printed on: The material that needs printing will play a huge role in determining which printing method you choose.
  • Budget of the project: This will directly influence which technique you will use – digital printing will cost you per page printed, where litho may afford you a discount for bulk print jobs.
  • Intricacies of job: Before settling on a print method, consider the types of colours the project will need. Certain colour schemes are best achieved by using offset printing.

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