Short run digital printing:

What is digital printing?

Short run print intro

What is digital print?

Why go digital

Picking the right printer

Preparing artwork

Avoiding problems

If things go wrong

Commercial digital printing involves printing without using traditional methods such as the plates, blankets and rollers of offset lithography. Even computer-to-plate (CTP) print systems aren’t really digital printers, as those just replace the film exposure element of the litho process rather than changing the actual print part of things itself.

The trouble is, the term ‘digital printing’ covers a huge amount of ground. Electrostatic imaging devices based on laser printer technology are clearly digital printers, as are inkjet devices of the kind familiar to most of us - although the commercial models are somewhat larger. Added to this are the full-blown ink-using digital presses. The HP Indigo TurboStream, UltraStream and similar high-end models are liquid ink-based digital printers, but they look more like high-tech cabinets than the ‘roller and girder’ appearance of old-fashioned commercial printing equipment. Okay, you’d be incredibly unlikely to buy this kind of equipment to use just for yourself, even for a departmental printing service, but you can certainly make use of commercial printing companies that have invested in this technology. (See Picking the Right Printer for how to find the perfect company for your short-run printing needs.)

Have you found the information on this site useful? If you like, you can make a small donation directly to my hosting bills! It would be deeply appreciated.