Digital Printing: Here’s Everything You Should Know

Digital Printing - What You Should Know

Digital printing is the process of printing digital-based images directly onto a media substrate, which comes in a wide range of different types. The biggest difference between digital printing and other printing methods is the fact that there’s no need for a printing plate like you would see with offset printing. Digital files such as PDFs or desktop publishing files can be sent directly to the press to print on paper, photo paper, canvas, fabric, synthetics, cardstock, and other substrates.

With the importance of graphic design and marketing growing, having a local Indianapolis digital printing partner is key to staying competitive. While Google may control your search presence, your prints can be used both online and offline, so it’s important to have prints optimized for both.

Digital Printing VS Offset Printing

Digital printing differs from traditional printing methods, like offset printing as we’ve been discussing, it’s because digital print machines do not require printing plates. Instead of using metal plates to transfer an image, the presses print the image directly onto the media substrate.

This alone is a huge advantage versus other printing methods you may be considering.

Digital production print technology is quickly evolving and the output of high-quality digital prints continues to impress. These advancements are delivering print quality that mimics offset printing, that hasn’t always been the case. Most printing experts know off-set printing is often the highest quality print you can get, but now digital print is gunning for the top spot.

With digital print, there’s a wide range of benefits a customer will get, these include but are not limited to;

  • Print On Demand – As long as you have your VDP or digital files, you can print exactly what you need.
  • Variable Data Printing (VDP) – Allows you to easily change images, messaging, etc.
  • Cost-Effective Printing – With digital print, you can be cost-effective on short printing runs.
  • Quick Turnaround Time – With digital, you’re going to see much quicker turnaround times.

Digital Print Machines

There’s a wide range of printing machines that are used for digital prints, this could include production printing presses such as sheet-fed production printers, cut-sheet digital presses, production inkjet printers or continuous feed printers. Digital printing is a method of printing where a digital-based image is directly placed to a wide range of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small-run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers.

It is common for this type of print to have a higher cost per page than more traditional offset printing methods, however, this price is usually offset by avoiding the expenses caused by printing plates.

Types Of Digital Print Media

Digital printing machines can print on a number of different things, this includes but is not limited to;

  • Thick Cardstock
  • Heavyweight Papers
  • Fabrics
  • Plastics
  • Folding Cartons
  • T-Shirts
  • Linen
  • Polyester

Digital Printing Inks

There are several different types in regular use in digital printing, each with very different characteristics. Those characteristics are what you need to understand when making your investment decisions, because they can make a big difference in cost and quality.

The core of any inkjet printing system is the ink, which is essentially pigment suspended in a carrier liquid. The job of the ink is to deliver the pigment to the media and to bind it to the media’s surface. The range of substrates that the ink will work with ultimately determines the applications that a printing engine can handle.

This printing technology excels at producing on-demand and short print runs quickly and cost-effectively. It has literally changed the game and the tech continues to get better.

Digital printing is also an ideal platform for personalization. If you want to easily modify images and messages using variable data printing (VDP), then digital is the only way to go. With advancements in print quality and speed, digital printing’s previous disadvantages are quickly disappearing, and digital printing machines are closing the gap on offset output.

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