Every business large or small – even paperless offices, should they actually exist – has print requirements. Whether you’re looking to update your marketing collateral, produce service brochures, product catalogues or simple business stationery, it is highly unlikely that you can do it all in house.
Until recently, offset litho printing was the only credible way to produce high quality print results professionally. The process is quite involved. First, the printing plates are prepared, one for each the four CMYK colours plus any additional spot colours. The designs are then transferred from the plates onto rubber rolls or blankets from which the colour is layered onto the paper to get the final image.
In our modern digital times, this has all but changed. Of course, there are still situations where ‘old school’ print methods are the way to go – high volume commercial print runs for magazines and newspapers spring to mind – but digital printing has edged ahead as being the preferred option for most business needs.
Let’s take a look at the major benefits of digital printing for small and medium sized businesses.
- Print quality
Whereas offset printing used to be the gold standard, these days the quality of digital print has improved so much that it’s now hard to tell the difference. Digital technology has come a long way and is now able to compete even specific requirements such as large format print jobs. With digital print quality no longer being an issue, the decision to go digital comes down to other important factors.
- Cost savings
Digital printing is quick to set up, and has minimal set-up costs. Unlike offset printing, there are no printing plates, rubber rolls or even traditional inks used in the process. Instead, your artwork goes straight from the pdf file supplied by you to paper, using high quality toner for the job. As the set-up time is much faster, it’s typically much better value, especially for shorter print runs. For small companies with tight deadlines and budgets, bringing print jobs in on time has never been cheaper or more convenient.
- Proofing and changes
Many digital printing companies have come to realise the power of interactive online transactions. With the help of a user friendly website, you can now easily obtain instant quotes, upload your own artwork and place your order from any desktop or mobile device. There are free artwork checks and previews for you to proof, with online software that will alert you to possible technical issues. Some digital printers will supply an online flipbook that you can save, embed and share. Once you give the go ahead and press the print button, your can forget all about it and focus on the day job.
- Fast turnaround
One of the main reasons why digital printing is so attractive is the fast turnaround time offered by the technology. With no delay resulting from preparing printing plates or waiting for the ink to dry, a digital print run can be set up in a very short space of time, allowing you to go from the finished design to real print in as little as one day. This next day convenience is particularly valuable for smaller businesses and start-ups who may really appreciate the fast speed and flexibility when it comes to the delivery of new company brochures or leaflets.
- Personalised printing
Using digital files rather than printing plates enables fast and nimble on-demand printing that’s become the ‘go to’ solution for many companies. Giving you full control over your business printing requirements, this is particularly economical for printing marketing collateral in smaller print runs. With Variable Data Printing (VDP), you can customise individual graphics or text on a print by print basis. Here’s an example:
Personalise your direct mail marketing campaigns to create DM pieces that are visually striking and appeal to your target market. Add numbers, names or any information you require to your print. In fact, every impression on the paper can be different, so that you can produce the most targeted, effective business advertising available. Personalisation leads to better customer engagement and higher response rates for your marketing.
Image provided by: youloveprint.co.uk