Digital vs Litho Printing
Digital vs Litho Printing

At Gemini Print Group we have both Digital and Lithographic presses. The single most question asked when there is a need for printed materials is, ‘Digital vs Litho Printing – which one would be best for my printing needs?’ So we thought giving more information on this would help you to choose the most appropriate print method for you. 

What is Lithographic Printing?

Lithographic printing is a long standing traditional method of printing. It has been the most common type of print, used until digital printing was introduced in 1989. This type of printing uses rubber rollers, which transfers the ink from metal plates, directly onto paper. 

What is Digital Printing?

Digital printing is a more modern process, which involves complex computing that tells the press how to create the image on the paper. The image on the screen is analysed and then converted into a format, which can then be printed directly onto the surface required.

How do you decide which type of printing is best for what you’re looking for?

There are a number of points to consider, as both methods have advantages and disadvantages…

Speed, quality and cost are usually the three most important factors. 

Firstly speed, if you are looking for a small volume printed quickly, digital printing is by far the best option as there are no lengthy set up procedures.

When it comes to quality this can depend on the type of paper you choose to print on, not just on the type of printing method. With lithographic printing the ink soaks into the paper, whereas with digital the ink generally sits on top of the paper. Therefore, the finish can appear to be quite different. If you use a silk or gloss paper, then the quality will be very similar no matter the print choice. However, if the paper is uncoated or textured, lithographic printing will provide a much better quality and consistency of print. This is especially if there is heavy ink coverage or solid blocks of colour. 

Cost is dependent upon the volume of print you’re looking to produce. With digital printing there are no set ups required. Printing can start immediately, so for small volumes of print this can be relatively cost-effective. Whilst Lithographic printing will take more time to set up, this method of printing becomes hugely more economical when printing much higher volumes. 

Digital vs Litho Printing

No one type of printing is better than the other, it’s all about weighing up the three main factors to see, and to decide which method is best for you, given the overall specification of the job. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll provide you with personal advice on the best option for you.

Take a look at the services available to you for print and finishing here

If you have any queries on which type of printing would be best for you, contact us here