With the advent of computer technology and the digital age, the print industry has moved on leaps and bounds in the last few decades. Many of the options you see now within the print industry use digital presses and Print-on-Demand (POD) technology. The greatest difference between digital printing and traditional methods such as lithography, flexography, gravure, or letterpress is that there is no need to replace printing plates in digital printing, whereas in analog printing the plates are repeatedly replaced. This results in quicker turnaround time and lower cost when using digital printing, but typically a loss of some fine-image detail by most commercial digital printing processes.
Why Choose Offset Printing?
POD certainly has its benefits – sometimes using toner like the laser printers you have in your office, whilst some use liquid inks such as the new HP Indigo presses. We often use the HP Indigo presses for our digitally printed covers to our books. Whilst these options are convenient, with no or low set-up costs for smaller prints runs, compared to traditional printing techniques you do not get the same depth of ink as you would with lithography, or offset printing. The print is not as sharp on most available presses, and the colour consistency is not as reliable across longer runs.