Digital printing has played a major role in the advancement of print media and publishing, allowing publishers to produce books and other publications at more affordable costs. Digital printing also makes it possible to print smaller quantities than traditional offset printing, meaning less waste and greater ability to scale production to meet demands.
Digital Printing is Higher Quality
Digital printing offers impressive quality and consistency. Subsequent copies are identical to the original, whereas there can be variations with traditional printing technology. Digital printing is also the only printing technique that offers precise registration of colors, and there’s less dot gain, which leaves a more accurate image with less bleeding and blending.
Digital prints are higher-resolution, as well, which is often expressed as dots-per-inch. Screens in digital printing can fade to zero percent, so you won’t see those harsh lines that are often present with flexographic printing.
Database Capabilities Add Flexibility to Printing Options
If you’re printing items that must be sequentially numbered, traditional printing makes it difficult to do so without adding a great deal of complexity to the process. Digital printing streamlines this process with the ability to pull information from a database to individually number printed items while other elements remain the same.
Lower Costs at Lower Volumes
Digital printing makes it possible to print smaller quantities at reasonable costs. Because printing plates aren’t required, there’s less investment involved to setup a single print job. With traditional printing, publishers are forced to pay that initial cost regardless of whether they need five copies or five thousand.
The time and manual labor involved in digital printing is also less than that of traditional printing methodologies. With traditional printing, color changes involve switching plates, which is costly in terms of both materials and labor. Not only does it cost more, but it takes longer, too.
This lower cost per volume benefit also means that digital printing is more scalable than traditional printing. It makes sense to run just a few copies for a specific purpose, because you’re not forking over those large upfront costs for printing plates. Before digital printing, it made little sense to print smaller quantities of publications—it simply wasn’t worth it.
In the modern world of publishing, instant gratification is critical. Whether you’re printing materials for a last-minute presentation or trying to get a magazine to the stands on deadline, digital printing eliminates most of the lead times that are required for traditional printing. Setup and run times are drastically reduced from days or weeks to a few hours—sometimes a few minutes for small-quantity jobs.
Issues that would have devastating consequences in the past, such as discovering an error in a publication that’s already been set for print, can be easily remedied. Grammatical errors or typos in a book can be fixed as soon as the next run (instantly if you’re printing on demand) without adding to overhead costs. With digital printing, you can print a single prototype for evaluation before you commit to a full order.
Digital printing has revolutionized the media industry and has had a major impact on businesses overall. With benefits such as lower costs, top quality and flexible printing options, digital printing is the only method that makes sense in today’s fast-paced environment. As digital printing technology continues to expand, so will the possibilities and benefits.
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