What is Digital Printing?

Digital printing is fast, efficient and cost effective. Over the last ten years, digital printing has become an increasingly popular option, especially for businesses with relatively small print runs.

Unlike Offset Lithography (Litho) printing, the most common and widely used process for decades, setup and production timescales are much shorter, making it easier to send a proof and receive your finished product within a quick turnaround. Perfect if you are in a rush or suddenly need extra flyersbrochures or annual reports.

For anyone who wants to know more about digital printing, we’ve put together the following questions and answers. Give us a call or place an order online if you need digital printing today or in the next few weeks.

What is Digital Printing?

Printing was first introduced in 1439, in Strasbourg - modern day France - by an entrepreneur and inventor, Johannes Gutenberg, revolutionising the spread of knowledge and ushering in the modern era. For centuries after, printing got more advanced but stayed fairly true to modern versions of traditional ideas. Until 1993, Offset Lithography was the main method used to print almost everything.

Digital printing came on the market in 1993, with the first digital printer produced by a company called Indigo (also the name of the world’s first digital printer). Overnight it meant that customers could create something on a desktop, order a small print run and they would receive a high-quality finished product for a cost effective price, compared to the same print run using Litho technology. Digital printing was also a lot faster, which explains why it has become so popular. HP were major investors in digital printing at the time, putting $100 million into Indigo in 2000, then buying the remaining shares in 2001 for $629m.

Since then, the popularity of digital printing has only increased, now estimated to be responsible for 18% of all printing done worldwide.

What is the Digital Printing Process?

Digital printing is not the same as using a printer at home or in the office. It’s true that they use similar technology and processes, but professional digital printing delivers a much higher level of quality, precise colour definitions, including accurate Pantone matches and with digital printing, you can also print on fabric, signs and vehicles.

With digital printing, the image is digitised, whereby a computer turns the raw data - an image, logo,  text, etc. - into binary code, a complex series of ones and zeros, then into a matrix of dots, known as pixels. The same thing happens with digital cameras and smartphones when capturing and displaying pictures and videos.

Now the computer has that information, smart colour management systems control where the various colours appear on the printed surface, using ink, toner or electromagnetic energy - depending on the printers and materials used - to accurately print the data as it appears in the original image.

When Was Digital Printing introduced?

A technology and photocopier company, Indigo, introduced digital printing in 1993, revolutionising the printing industry. HP invested in 2000 and bought Indigo in 2001, spreading digital printing worldwide, with numerous other companies offering HP or competitor printing services and many others innovating around the digital printing concept in the years since.

Digital printing is now responsible for 18% of all printed materials around the world and demand for this service keeps growing.

Why Use Digital Printing?

Whether you are printing brochures, flyers, shareholder or university prospectus, or branding a van or T-shirts, digital printing is quicker, easier and more cost effective than traditional methods. It is especially useful when you need a relatively small print run and need a quick turnaround since Litho printing does involve a longer setup time and is better for larger print runs.

Where is Digital Printing Used?

Digital printing can be used on almost everything. Here at Brightside Print & Design, we can print letterheads, flyers, posters, business cards, brochures, newsletters, folders, notepads, giveaway items for trade shows, prospectuses and annual reports. Digital printing can also be used on clothing, vehicles, signs and other materials.

Digital Printing on Clothing

Digital printing on clothing is a little more difficult than printing on paper or card, but thanks to modern digital direct to garment technology, you can put logos, images and lettering on tops, T-shirts and other items of clothing. Give us a call to find out more: 0203 2881048.

How Digital Textile Printing Works

Firstly, create your design and pick the items of clothing you want it printed on. Before buying anything, call us to ensure your design will work on the textiles you want. It isn’t possible to print to a high quality on every type of fabric, and we would need to ask that your design can match up with textile printing technical specifications.

Once everything is ready, and we have the fabric, textiles or clothing that you want the design printed onto, we can start digital printing in the same way, with a similar turnaround, like any other printed product.

How Much Does Digital Printing Cost?

With three on-site digital printing machines, we can offer a fast, cost effective price for our customers, plus nationwide delivery. Pricing starts from £20.00. Request a quote online or give us a call: 0203 2881048.

Digital Printing vs. Conventional (Litho) Printing

For some orders and projects, we would still recommend conventional Litho printing, especially when a customer needs a large print run. We will always provide advice based on over 20 years experience in the printing industry.

However, for smaller print runs when a customer needs a fairly quick turnaround, and delivery time, we would recommend digital printing. It is the best option when you need high quality, without time delays, for a great price.

Brightside Print & Design offer a wide range of digital printing services to businesses in London and around the country.

Our digital printing services include brochures, annual reports, business cards, programmes, flyers, newsletters, leaflets and logos printed on clothing, signs and vehicles. With over 20 years experiences, we provide a  fast and reliable, cost-effective, service with nationwide delivery.

Request a quote online or give us a call on: 0203 2881048