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Why Eazy Print?

  • Friendly support and advice
  • No hidden costs
  • Free UK Wide Delivery
  • 4.9 Google review rating
Litho or digital?

Litho or digital? A pressing question...

How did we survive without printing? Look around a modern home or office and we are surrounded by books, magazines and a host of other printed material. For centuries, monks with quill pens painstakingly wrote out copies of the Bible, in silence, and peering through dim light.

And, through the dark ages, bookkeepers toiled, recording everything by hand…over and over again.

Everything changed in 1796 when German actor Alois Senefelde found a cheap way of publishing theatrical works.  He invented the printing technique of lithography.

Even with the rapid growth of digital printing, the oil and water-based process – transferring the image to the paper with rubber blankets - is still the most dominant form of print media production.

Senefelde would have been impressed with modern litho printing presses. Some use an eight colour in-line process with advances such as spot colour.

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

Which should we chose- litho or digital?

Which is better - Litho or Digital?

Litho printing is considered the traditional method of printing and it holds the largest share of the commercial printing market. However digital printing is becoming more widely used, with faster machines producing high quality work.

So which method is the best? This depends on a number of factors:

Quality

Quality of print between digital and litho is a strongly debated point. It is true that older digital machines could not match the high quality of litho printing, but todays digital presses do come very close and it can be argued that some digital equipment, such as poster printers with 12 colours, are superior to litho.

For the vast majority of people this debate is irrelevant – the quality produced by both methods will be suitable for most commercial print work. However for high end, high quality work such as brochure printing, litho may still be the best option.

Quantity 

The number of copies ordered is the biggest factor in determining which printing method if best. Litho printing has high set-up costs as plates need to be made and the machine set-up, but once running it has a very low cost per impression. Digital printing on the other hand has very low set-up costs, there are no plates and almost no wasted sheets of paper, however the cost per impression is relatively high.

What all this means is that digital is a more cost effective production method than litho for shorter runs and litho is much more cost effective for longer runs. For example 100 A5 flyers will be cheaper printed digital and 50,000 A5 flyers would be cheaper printed litho.

Size

Large format printing of banners, display boards and posters are best produced digitally, most litho presses are just not big enough to produce oversized display print.

Pantone Colours

Digital printing most often is restricted to producing full colour work, whereas litho presses can be set-up to print in spot (pantone) colours.

Turnaround

It can be said that digital printing provides a quicker turnaround because of its quicker set-up. In reality turnaround has more to do with the overall efficiency of the print company and the amount of work they already have in production. An efficient litho printer could delivery work much quicker than an inefficient digital printer.

Knowing which method of printing to use to produce your next print job can be difficult. Luckily the advantages of each production method are usually reflected in the prices offered. It pays to shop around and it will soon become clear which method is best for you. Eazy Print offer litho, digital and large format printing all in one place, we can advise which would best suit your specific job.

And so, which method should we choose – litho or digital?

Quality of print between digital and litho is a strongly debated point. It is true that older digital machines could not match the high quality of litho printing, but today’s digital presses come very close.

For the vast majority of people this debate is irrelevant – the quality produced by both methods will be suitable for most commercial print work. However for high end, high quality work such as brochure printing, litho may still be the best option.

Digital is a more cost-effective production method for shorter runs; litho is much more efficient for longer runs. Digital would be a cheaper option for 100 A5 flyers; litho would be the preferred choice for a run of 50,000.

Eazy Print has the ‘all in one’ solution with top quality litho, digital and large format printing under one roof.

Contact us for more details, and for our expert assistance on which print run is best for your particular needs. 

Why Eazy Print?

  • Friendly support and advice
  • No hidden costs
  • Free UK Wide Delivery
  • 4.9 Google review rating

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