What Are the Three Types of Digital Printing?
Digital printing is a modern way to add personalization to your brand and marketing efforts. It can be used for products like t-shirts and linens, and for promotional materials such as banners and signage.
It allows for less waste and fewer plates than traditional offset printing. This is a great benefit for small print runs because it eliminates the costs of creating new plates if mistakes are made.
1. Digital Offset Printing
Digital printing is a quick and cost-effective method that allows for fast turnaround rates. This is especially useful for smaller jobs such as flyers, brochures, and business cards. Digital printing can also accommodate large, high-resolution images. This type of printing uses high-quality toners and liquid ink for sharper and more vibrant designs.
This type of printing is ideal for a variety of different projects and can be used on various materials including paper, canvas, metals, plastics, and other surfaces. Digital printing eliminates the need for traditional transfer stickers and uses computerized machines that can print directly onto the surface of your choice. This allows for customization of every piece such as adding a person’s name, or company name, to the project.
One of the biggest benefits of digital printing is that it provides lower up-front costs than offset printing. This is because the process does not require plates to be made before beginning production. It is important to note that this does result in a slightly higher cost per unit for small runs of fewer than 1,000 pieces.
In addition to the lower upfront costs, digital printing offers greater flexibility in terms of color. While digital prints are improving and getting closer to achieving true Pantone colors, they do not match as well as an offset job that uses actual Pantone inks.
Another benefit of digital printing is that it allows for easy reprinting if something goes wrong with the original file or design. This is not an option with offset printing and can be a real lifesaver for companies that often produce brochures or sales flyers. Digital printing is also ideal for jobs that involve a lot of variable data such as personalized direct mail campaigns. This is because it is possible to alter each piece of the project with a person’s name or address without having to create new print files and reprint the entire job.
2. Digital Inkjet Printing
Digital inkjet printing is a type of digital printing that uses large-format or high-volume printers to print images and texts on a range of media such as paper, fabric, acrylic and plastic. Unlike traditional printing, digital inkjet printing doesn’t use printing plates to apply the ink or toner onto the substrate. Instead, a digitized image from a computer is sent to the printer to print directly on the desired medium.
This technology allows for faster production times than traditional printing. This is because setup and prep work is significantly reduced, allowing for the print job to be ready for finishing almost immediately. Additionally, digital inkjet printing is more environmentally friendly compared to other forms of printing. This is because the ink dries instantly once the printing process is complete.
Another benefit of this type of printing is that it can be used to produce a variety of different products. This includes a variety of marketing materials and even custom printed apparel. Digital inkjet printing can also be used to produce high-quality photo prints that can be framed and displayed.
The most popular inks used in digital inkjet printing are the cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) dye inks and toners. However, some digital inkjet printers can offer additional colors through the use of spot or extender color inks. Other inks that can be used in this form of printing include specialty dry inks such as metallic, white or clear.
In addition, digital printing is an excellent choice for those looking to tap into new markets or customers. For example, roll-fed or flatbed digital printers can be used to print on various types of materials including banners, signs, walls and vehicles. Additionally, this form of printing can be used to create customized printing for individual customers based on their specific needs. This is especially useful for marketers who are looking to increase brand loyalty through personalized marketing campaigns.
3. Digital Screen Printing
This is the most advanced type of digital printing, also known as Print on Demand (POD). It’s when you print something on a high-resolution printer with an image that you send directly from a computer or digital device. It’s used for everything from photos and small-run desktop publishing to large-scale/high-volume packaging and direct mail.
Screen printing is the most commonly recognized form of digital printing, but it’s not just for t-shirts and fabrics! It’s also used for posters, ceramics, and fine art prints because of its color vibrancy and precision. Unlike digital printing, where colors are limited by the CMYK color gamut, screen-printed products can utilize Pantone colors for precise matching capabilities.
The process works by placing a stencil over the fabric or paper and then using a squeegee to apply ink through it. This results in a solid color that’s not affected by CMYK limitations, as well as a thicker layer of ink. This allows for super vibrant colors and ultra-saturated hues that are hard to reproduce with other types of printing methods.
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Additionally, the screen-printing process allows for an extremely high volume capability — a huge benefit for larger businesses and brands with multiple product lines that need to be printed at once. And because screen printing only uses one color at a time, the price doesn’t increase based on the number of colors — making it an attractive option for businesses looking to keep their costs low.
Finally, digital printing is ideal for 4-color process, variable data, and serializing jobs because it’s less labor-intensive than offset printing and eliminates the need for plates and screens. Additionally, the printing rate of digital printing is significantly faster than that of screen and offset printers — allowing for a quick turnaround time on short to medium-size runs.