Litho or Digital Printing – which one should I choose for my project?

February 23, 2018

For those of us that work in the printing industry all day, every day, we can sometimes lapse into printing jargon without realising it. Here we try to explain the differences between litho printing and digital printing so that you can make a more informed choice, but remember we are always happy to guide you based on our extensive experience in this business.
Contact us on 0115 9447600 or email us at sales@stirlandpaterson.co.uk

 

Why litho printing?

Litho printing is best for large quantities, typically over 1000 copies. This is because once the machine is set up with ink and plates it runs at very high speeds and produces the job very quickly. Spreading the set up cost over a high number of paper sheets makes this option more cost effective but you will have to allow time for plate making and set up time so this option is not for those that need a one day turnaround time.

There are also your paper preferences to take into consideration. If you want a specific paper to be used you will have a greater choice if going down the litho route.
As with paper, litho printing will also give you a wider choice of options when it comes to ink specification. If you want to use any special inks, like a florescent or metallic ink for example, then litho printing will give you the best results. It’s also good if you want to use more than 4 colours. We have just finished a print job in 14 colours.

 

Why digital printing?

Digital printing is the perfect option if you need your print job quickly. Unlike litho printing there is no set up time for plates and inks so it is the best option if you want your print job urgently. Digital printing is also more cost effective for smaller quantities as there are fewer set up costs.

The quality of digital printing has also improved immeasurably over recent years making it as good an option as litho for most standard print jobs.

Another advantage of digital printing is that you can use this method if you want to personalise your print job, for example, if you want to do a E-shot or send out marketing information to a mailing list of people. Digital printing is often used to generate proofs to show customers how the finished litho or digital print run will look, as it is cheaper and easier to run small quantities of these off quickly. Environmentally digital printing comes out on top as less ink & paper is ‘wasted’ during set up of the job.

For friendly advice and more detail on litho or digital printing options please contact us on 0115 9447600 or email us at sales@stirlandpaterson.co.uk