What is the Difference Between Litho Printing and Digital Printing?

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In the printing industry, there are two common terms that we know well. That is: Litho Printing and Digital Printing. We want our clients to make the informed choice when it comes to their printing requirements. So for those who are not in the industry, it is important we define these technologies.

Litho Printing Services

Litho Printing has been a part of the printing industry since 1796! Even with the invention of digital printing, Litho Printing continues to thrive. In fact, it is the preferred choice of printing for business owners. This is because the technology is cost-effective and caters to large volumes of prints.

A Brief History

Lithography is a way of printing that was created based on the immiscibility of water and oil. In its infancy, Lithography used an image that was etched with fat, oil or wax. It was etched onto a smooth surface (usually a limestone plate).

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The stone would be treated with acid. Once the stone was moistened, the etched images retained water, and an oil-based ink would then be applied. This would be repelled by the water, sticking to the original drawing only.

Once this was done, the ink could easily be transferred onto blank paper, and would produce the printed page.

Litho Printing Now

Today, an image can be created with polymer coating and is then applied to a metal plate or flexible plastic. The image can be printed straight from the plate, or it can be offset by transferring the content onto a rubber sheet for printing.

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As mentioned previously, Litho printing is the cost-effective solution when printing large volumes. Therefore, it is the preferred printing method for business owners.

However, the set-up cost for litho printing does require time and can add up, therefore it is not ideal for smaller print runs. This is when digital printing services become preferable.

Digital Printing Services

When it comes to less than 1000 printed copies of a product, digital printing is the cost-effective and quickest printing solution. It is a fast way to achieve results because it does not require a long set-up process. This is because it just makes prints from a simple electronic file.

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Digital printing also offers personalisation to every document. For example, if you are printing postcards and would like to personalise them to every individual, you are able to achieve this through digital printing services (also known as Variable Data Printing).

Choosing Between Litho Printing and Digital Printing Solutions

When it comes to choosing the right printing solution for you, always consider the following:

  • Quality: Litho printing prints higher quality images than that of digital printing
  • Cost and Volume: As stated previously, litho printing is the better option when it comes to larger print runs.
  • Time: Setting up for litho printing is time consuming. Digital printing is quick, ensuring a fast job.

Digital Printing and Litho Printing Company South Africa

Jetline is your go-to printing company. From large format printing to quick digital printing, we offer it all.

Contact your closest Jetline branch today for all your printing requirements.

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