Digital printing is the process of reproducing the visual representation of an electronic file (such as a document or an image) onto media such as paper, photo paper, cardstock, fabric, canvas, and synthetics, among others. It is an alternative to traditional methods such as gravure, flexography, lithography, letter printing, offset printing, and others.
What are the types of digital printers?
There are three types of digital printers available today:
1. Inkjet printers
An inkjet printer places tiny ink droplets onto a medium as it passes through the machine. Because inkjet printers use real ink, it produces vivid and professional-quality photos and documents. However, they don’t print as quickly as laser printers do.
2. Laser printers
In laser printing, a laser traces a document or image onto an electromagnetic canvas, then toner cartridges release electrically charged toner particles onto the traced image. The particles are then transferred and fused onto media such as paper.
A single toner cartridge can yield more pages than an ink cartridge can. Laser printers are also faster than their inkjet counterparts, so they’re handy if you need to print a high volume of documents. However, they cannot produce color images that are as vibrant as the ones printed on inkjet printers.
3. Digital presses
A digital press is a digitized version of a traditional printing press. It is normally used by print production companies, commercial printers, print rooms, and reprographics departments.
What are the advantages of digital printing?
Digital printing has a wide range of benefits for your business, including:
1. Faster printing
One key advantage of digital printing is that it has a higher printing rate than traditional printing methods. Offset printing, for instance, uses a printing press with plates and wet ink rollers. It can take a while to complete an offset job because of the setup time and the final product must also dry before finishing can take place. Meanwhile, screen printing can take more time if you are working with complex colors.
With digital printing, however, there are no pre-printing processes required and the ink dries as soon as the printer stops printing. This means that the finished products can be cut and bound immediately.
With digital printing, however, there are no pre-printing processes required and the ink dries as soon as the printer stops printing.
2. Easy customization
Digital printing allows you to customize your printing with relative ease. With traditional methods, the smallest changes might require you to redo your setup process. But with digital printing, you can adjust the orientation, color options, material, and other print options with a few clicks.
3. High print quality
Advances in digital printing technology have significantly improved printout quality. Colors remain bright and vivid, images look crisp and vibrant, and shades are controllable to your preferred degree. What’s more, print quality is consistent throughout the entire printing process.
Because digital printing requires very little setup time and projects print directly from the computer file to the printer, digital printing is more affordable than traditional printing methods for short print runs.
5. Wider material choices
During digital printing processes, the print medium makes much less contact with the printing mechanism than it would during traditional printing processes. This makes it easier to print on delicate fabrics, thin paper, or any material that may not hold up under harsh handling.
6. Reduced carbon footprint
Because digital printing does away with pre-printing processes required in traditional printing, digital printing uses less energy and emits less carbon dioxide. In fact, many digital printers today are carbon neutral, allowing printing runs to have a lower environmental impact than conventional printing methods.
7. Wireless printing
Digital printing also enables you to wirelessly print documents via the internet. This cannot be done yet with offset or screen printing, as these methods require plenty of physical prep work and on-hand labor.
8. Variable data printing (VDP)
Traditional printing methods are limited to the mass production of a single document or image at a time. On the other hand, digital printing allows for VDP — the production of unique printouts in one print run.
Ready to get started with digital printing for your Los Angeles or Orange County business? Partner with Complete Document Solutions! We will help you eliminate small printers in favor of larger ones that can not only save on ink and materials, but also print in the best quality possible. To learn more about how we can help your company, drop us a line today.