Digital printing has come a long way since it was first introduced in the 1980s. Through the proliferation of home printers and affordable professional digital printing services, printing has become accessible to pretty much everyone.
Now, this method is as good as or even better than traditional lithographic printing methods and is much more adaptable and flexible. Let’s take a look at digital printing from the perspective of small businesses, to see what benefits it can provide.
What is digital printing?
When printing was invented, long before the advent of computers and digital technologies, the process was completed using a process called lithographic printing.
This traditional method, still used to this day, consists of engraving a design or text onto a plate, then transferring that image onto another medium using rollers. While it’s a fast method of printing, it’s resource intensive and only becomes efficient when doing medium to long print runs.
Digital printing as a process has far fewer steps. You simply send a digital file to the printer, and it prints the desired image or text straight onto the media of choice. As a result, you can do a print run of any size and can change the image at any step along the way.
Benefits for small businesses
Small businesses can benefit from digital printing in many ways. What are the advantages? Let’s take a look here.
As digital printing is a more direct process with less waste, it’s often far more cost-effective than lithographic printing methods – especially for shorter print runs that small businesses generally require. There are no set-up costs – you just send in your file and the prints can start rolling out.
Digital printing is incredibly fast. Newer digital printers even have integrated UV lights that can instantly dry the inks as soon as they’re jetted onto the medium of choice. This means that companies like Plan Printing 24 can have prints ready incredibly quickly, sometimes as soon as the next day. If you need a quick turnaround, digital printing is definitely the way to go.
As prints don’t require any fixed setup like in lithographic printing, each print can be personalized. This means that small businesses can print personalized flyers and the like, adapting each piece of marketing content for specific situations and clients.
For good reason, sustainability is the topic of the moment. Digital printing is more sustainable and eco-friendly than lithographic printing for a number of reasons. First, because you can print any number of prints at any time, you’re far less likely to end up with a massive number of prints that you only need a fraction of.
Second, with the printing method, there aren’t nearly as many wasted by-products compared to lithographic printing. On top of that, an increasing number of digital printing companies are also offering sustainable, non-toxic inks.
As a small business owner, make sure you do your research to understand what printing types work for your exact requirement. Seek out and work with reputable businesses who are willing to break down the exact printing types you’ll need, not a one-size-fits-all solution.
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