Digital printing – the modern way to do business

Flyers, brochures, business cards, banners… all these can be produced using digital printing methods. Available on-demand, with short print runs, rapid turnaround times and online ordering facility, digital printing can be the cheapest and most time effective way to get your message across to your customers.

Print shops like us at Minuteman Press use both offset litho and digital printing presses. The method you choose will depend on a few factors – mainly the number of copies you need, as digital printing is sheet-fed and mainly used for short-batch runs. Orders of 10,000 pages or more are generally done on web-fed (i.e. paper roll) offset lithographic technology. However, this is improving.

It used to be that size was another factor, with large format objects such as display posters only being available in screen-printed form. However, this is no longer true. Today, there are large-format digital printing presses able to run off orders in excess of 110 square metres an hour, in photographic, crystal-clear clarity. This has tremendous advantages over “dot matrix” lithography, where images appear as coloured dots close together. The one thing you must be careful of is that the original image, as seen on the screen, is of high enough resolution to transfer to wall-size display posters – however, modern digital photographic software can take care of this as well.

Short-run digital printing has tremendous benefits for your budgetary health. While offset printing methods have improved dramatically in quality in recent years (compare the graininess of 1970s film posters to the clarity of today’s) prices have remained relatively high on shorter runs. This is because of the labour-intensive costs of setting up the presses to do each job. However, digital printing presses are basically sophisticated laser or ink-jet printers; there are no printing plates to set up, and files are printed direct from source. This makes digital printing fast, cheap, and of extremely high quality.