Millfield Media Magazine Printing

Lithographic Printing or Digital Printing – What’s the difference ?

Lithographic Printing explained

Lithographic Printing is a process using wet ink and printing plates.

It is more cost effective and suitable for larger print runs.

Why ? Because there is a lot of cost and time involved in making the printing plates and preparing the ‘spare’ material that is required for all the plate images to be processed and registered before the job can be run.

However, once this is done the cost per copy will be cheaper for bigger printing runs.

The turnaround time is longer with lithographic printing (usually at least 5 working days on average).

This is because time has to be allowed for the ink to completely dry before finishing. Longer run jobs have to be scheduled to run on the bigger presses.

Benefits of Lithographic Printing

📌Suitable for a wide range of surfaces including paper, card and plastics

📌The larger the order the cheaper it gets as the cost decreases as the quantity increases

📌Ability to cope with long runs with out losing quality

📌Special inks allow you to keep your brand consistency with your Pantone colours

Digital printing explained

Digital Printing  is a process that uses toners on a press and is more suitable and cost effective for shorter runs. 

This is because there is less initial set up involved making it a cheaper option for small businesses. 

Digital printing is what we call a four colour process reproduction method that uses electronic files (PDF artwork).

Dots of colour are used to produce an image using toner or ink.

(Unlike litho printing no printing plates are required)

This means there is less waste of the chemicals involved and paper because there is no need to make-ready.

Benefits of Digital Printing

📌 It is great for a quick turnaround as the job is produced in its finished format.

No additional drying time required.Its quick to set up so fast turn around of orders

📌Colours are bright, ideal for vibrant images on a vast range of materials

📌A much cheaper option for small volumes which makes it ideal for Small Business owners.

📌Personalisation is much easier as text and graphics can be changed on each item without stopping or slowing down the press

Although there are benefits for both options, it is also depending on the size of your business, your budget and your specific requirements.

Particularly if your brand colours are vibrant, and you want to keep the consistency of your Pantone colours.

Using a graphic designer will help you decide the best cost effective printing option for your business.

It will ensure that all your brand colours are consistent especially if you use business stationery so they should match specifically.

If you would like some further advice on brochures and leaflets, read our blog

If you would like any advice and guidance or a quote please contact us