Lithographic Printing vs Digital Printing
When deciding on a brochure or leaflet design the question always arises: what type of printing should we go with, lithographic or digital?
With lithographic printing, ink is transferred between a plate to the paper or material you are printing onto. Each plate needs to be manufactured for each particular run and up to four plates are needed for full colour. Oil based inks are primarily used in this process.
Already we can see a cost implication. The setup cost of lithographic printing ends up being a little more expensive than digital printing. This “set up cost” would indicate a more severe cost implication for low volumes. Naturally as the volume increases the setup cost becomes diluted and we begin to look at other cost implications like time, ink costs and labour. In most cases, as volumes increase, lithographic printing becomes the most cost effective type of printing.
Digital printing does not require the manufacture of plates but instead it electrically charges particles in the toner. Powder or liquid based inks are mainly used for this process. With digital printing the weight and texture of the paper needs to be taken into consideration as many different variations might not be amenable to a digital press and may cause issues.
Another consideration is colour-space. Digital presses are usually limited to four-colour-process while lithographic presses can also print a set of special colours that are often outside the normal printing spectrum by implementing Pantone colour standards.
When trying to decide what type of print should you use for a new brochure or leaflet design, the answer is not always clear. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Each print run is different and weighing up the options on each individual project seems to be the best strategy. Key factors in deciding on your strategy are volume, cost, quality and speed.
At Renaissance Brochure Design Ireland we can happily discuss your options and help guide you in the right direction for your next leaflet or brochure design.