Is digital printing really as easy as pressing ‘send’ on your artwork files? Almost! Here’s everything you need to know about this four-colour printing process and how we can help you achieve top-quality results.
How does digital printing work?
Digital printing is a quick and easy process, which involves sending digital artwork files to print. Unlike litho printing, which uses wet ink and printing plates, digital printing uses ink and toner on a press and works much more like a high-tech office printer. Rather than soaking in, the ink sits on the surface of the paper or printing medium, giving a crisp, high-quality finish.
Digital printing is a four-colour process (or ‘spot colour’ process). 4-colour printing uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) to achieve the final image. It offers a lot of flexibility however, if you’re looking to use metallic or fluorescent inks or to match a specific Pantone colour, we might suggest you use litho printing (also called offset printing) instead so that we can control the colour matching to a higher degree.
What are the benefits of digital printing?
Lots of our clients opt for digital printing because:
- It’s cost-effective for small print runs or stock volumes
- It’s quick and cost-free to set-up
- It offers fast turnaround times
- It prints large quantities quickly (we’re talking around 6,000 sheets an hour)
- It delivers consistent high-quality
- It’s free to create multiple, personalised prints
- It works well for printing onto silk, gloss and uncoated paper stocks.
What can digital printing be used for?
Aside from churning out top-quality print runs in next to no time, one of the main perks digital printing offers is the ability to personalise your print to a high degree. Whether you want to include customers’ names or personal details on a mailing template, or include alternative images or bespoke content for different audiences, we can bring mass personalisation to life using database-driven print files.
Digital printing can be used for a wide variety of projects including:
- Posters, leaflets and flyers
- Brochures and catalogues
- Envelope printing
- Letterheads and business cards
- Photo books
- Vinyl banners and pop-up banners
- Personalised print-on-demand.
Here at Eight Days A Week, we rely on our trusty (and fast!) Xerox and Konica Minolta commercial printers for 4-colour digital printing and have two specialised envelope printers.
Short or long print runs
However many items you have to print, digital printing can be a fast, cost-effective way forward. Covering everything from short print runs (of as little as one item!) to long print runs of hundreds of thousands of copies, the process provides a flexible way to work, with great return on investment.
When it comes to digital print, most formats are possible. It all depends on what you want to achieve and the pagination you have in mind.
Some of our most popular formats are:
- Square (e.g. 150 x 150mm, or 220 x 220mm)
- Multiple paginations (e.g. 6pp or 8pp)
- One-piece mailers
- Paper wrap.
We’re also able to fold projects in an almost endless number of ways, depending on your needs and requirements.
Give us a call if you’d like to discuss a project in more detail.
What is digital printing paper?
You can use all sorts of papers for printing, such as coated or uncoated stocks, silk, gloss or matte.
Our professional printing machines and digital presses can cope with many types of paper for printing, ranging from a minimum of 80gsm, right up to 400gsm. And they’ll print on paper sizes ranging from A5 through to 900m x 330mm. But there’s no need to sweat these specifics. Our expert team will guide you through the process and select which printer suits your project goals the best.
Should I use digital or litho printing for my project?
We’re happy to advise you on the best printing method for your project, which will be dependent on a range of factors such as:
- Desired quality of print
- Finishings (such as seals or extra colours, lamination or spot UV)
- Paper weights and types.
Litho printing (or offset printing) can churn out more copies in less time, but comes with more set-up costs and takes longer to get going, especially if you are printing multiple designs. It’s generally better for heavier paper stocks and print jobs with large blocks of colour.
Digital printing comes into its own when you have a quick turnaround time, as set-up is fast and free, no matter how much you personalise the job.
If you’re planning a straightforward job using a standard paper stock, the quality between digital and lithographic printing won’t be noticeable.
Wondering if digital print is expensive? It’s often seen as being more cost-effective than litho printing as, particularly for high volume or personalised jobs, it offers a great ROI.
What’s the turnaround time on digital print?
We always plan turnaround times on a job-by-job basis, as every client project is unique. Production time will vary depending on the type of job. For instance, while we might be able to turn around a short digital print run (using print-ready artwork) in 24 hours, a job requiring special folds, sealing or non-standard ink may take up to two weeks to complete to our usual, top-standard.
Digital print management
Our team is able to manage large-scale or complex digital print jobs on behalf of clients. Depending on your needs, they can oversee everything from proofing and printing to finishing and distribution. And, as part and parcel of the package, they’ll assess your project and re-engineer it to ensure you’re benefiting from as many efficiencies, cost-savings, material-savings and postal discounts as we can possibly manage.
The Eight Days team are experts at assessing digital printing proofs to gauge colour matching and other specifics before sending jobs into full production. Client print proofs are usually provided as PDFs, but we can provide hard copies of printed proofs for you to check over for an additional charge.
While we’re printing in Nottingham, UK, we work nationally and internationally to provide digital printing services to clients of all sizes. As a professional printer, we have modern printing presses and place a big focus on delivering carbon-neutral, environmental printing.