Litho vs Digital Print – Everything you need to know!

Technological advancements in the printing industry mean there are now many printing options to fit your brief. Let’s look at the difference between the two most common types of paper printing – Litho and Digital.

Litho Printing

Most commonly used for high-volume commercial printing. The technology is called “Offset Lithography”. The image is burned onto a metal plate (using a laser), which is then loaded onto the printing press. This image is then transferred (or offset) onto a rubber blanket and then onto the printing surface – be it paper, card or plastics. The process relies on the repulsion of oil and water; the image to be printed gets ink from rollers, while the non-printed area attracts a film of water, so it remains ink-free.

What can you expect?

High quality, consistent image

Great economies of scale

Able to cope with long runs without losing quality

Special inks available – Pantone Spots and metallic

What are the issues?

Expensive set up on short runs

Longer turn around on jobs

No variable data option

Digital Printing

Digital printing removes many of the mechanical steps used in conventional printing, including making the plates. But it’s certainly not the same as printing at home; the digital print presses used by professional printers are much more sophisticated than that!

What can you expect?

Fast service and quick orders

Bright, vibrant images on a range of materials

Great value for low volume printing

Personalisation using a database where text and graphics can be changed on each item without stopping or slowing down the process.

What are the issues?

Expensive on longer runs

Less colour control

Unable to guarantee pantone colours


Which one is right for my job?

We can advise which method is right for your job based on brief and bring together the correct processes to give maximum value, personalisation and quality.

Not to forget the technology that can support paper print using Apps, Augmented Reality, QR codes and more to bring your print and promotion to life.

Contact us today to discuss your next printing job.