We're living in a digital age

February 19, 2019

Both digital and lithographic print have their place, but when is it best to use digital over litho? And what are the benefits of printing digitally?

Introducing the lean, mean, digital printing machine

At Newnorth Print we house a state-of-the-art HP Indigo Press. The sheet-fed system promotes versatility; with the ability to use speciality inks, finishes, and paper stock. Thus, enabling you to create personalised, impactful print every time. The Indigo printer can switch seamlessly between jobs and media types, meaning that it is the perfect solution for those with a diverse job mix.

What types of marketing collateral are best to print digitally? As a general rule the answer to this is short run print jobs. It is most cost effective for a smaller quantity job to be done on the digital press rather than litho. This is because for a litho print, plates are made with your artwork on which is then pressed onto the print. Litho isn’t cost efficient for a short print run due to the price to make up the plates and so digital is the best solution.

Digital print is perfect for personalised event invites.

If your print job consists of marketing literature such as event invites that are personalised, then the digital press is again the perfect tool for you. The ability to switch between jobs because the machine is sheet-fed enables individual prints, such as personalised materials, rather than a constant run.

What are the other benefits of digital? The quality of the print from the HP Indigo Press is as high quality as that from our Heidelberg Lithographic Press. There are less processes to print digitally (no plate creation for example) and the inks dry almost instantly, therefore promoting a faster turnaround time and making digital the perfect solution for those jobs you run to the wire with. The other benefits of printing digitally are; there is less waste created than your traditional lithographic press, and it takes less energy to power a digital press due to its smaller size and needs.

This all sounds great, so should I leave litho print behind and always use digital? Whilst there are clear positives of using a digital press, each have their own place and benefits. It really depends on the print job. If you have a handful of books that need printing, the HP Indigo is ideal. However, if it is a long run, where personalisation is not a requirement, then the lithographic press is the most cost effective. This is because whilst it is true there is a small added cost to create the plates for a litho print, the inks are cheaper than those used by the Indigo.

Not sure which would be best for your next print job? Give us a call and we’d be happy to discuss the best, most budget friendly option on your next collection of collateral. We look forward to hearing from you.

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