LITHOGRAPHIC & DIGITAL PRINT
Lithographic Printing is generally used more for longer runs whilst Digital Printing tends to shorter print runs. Digital printing involves printing a complete copy of a file at a time and tends to take less time than Lithographic Printing, as it’s generally less complex to set up. Codex Print Solution’s, are able to offer you the best price and turnaround time depending on the size of your order and how complex the printing is. Each order with our Print Solutions team is completely bespoke.
We do not print other jobs at the same time to save money as we believe your guidelines are the most valuable asset to your business.
Weight of stock is a key aspect of your order – apart from the stock cost itself; most Digital Printing machines require stock weights between 70 and 350gsm. However some offset lithographic printing machines accommodate both lighter and heavier weights.
Type of stock is another printing factor. Digital Printing machines tend to be more limited in the stock types they can print on to. However, Lithographic Printing presses still generally accommodate a wider range of stock types for the time being – the printing jobs themselves for more “specialist” types of stock tend to be cheaper, too. Some Digital Printing presses also cannot print images particularly vividly onto stock types with finishes applied, such as laid or gloss.
Run length pertains to how big the printing job itself is. For full colour printing, Digital presses are far more suitable and cost effective for shorter run lengths.
Turnaround is the amount of time it takes to deliver a project once it is ordered. It is generally accepted that Digital printing is faster than Lithographic printing, as the setups for Digital printing are considerably less complex, and there is also no need to make plates.
Quality used to be a significant difference maker between the two printing types. Historically, most people agree that Lithographic printing produces the best quality prints. However, the quality of Digital prints is now so good that to an average person, in the majority of cases it would be very difficult to tell the difference, if not impossible. Price, in many ways, is related directly to run length. Once again, Digital printing tends to be less expensive for shorter runs and Lithographic for longer, and prices are reduced significantly for very long runs.
Range of colours also influences the choice between the two printing types, as if a number of are required with a high level of detail, Lithographic Printing would be a better choice; Printing presses are now very good at matching many Pantone colours.