Litho vs Digital

We are often asked which is the best printing technique, Litho or Digital?  The honest answer is they are two completely different printing methods, each with their own pros and cons, so it all depends on the type of job you wish to print. Here at Stonebridges Printers Ltd we run both Litho and Digital presses, our team of experts are on hand to discuss your print requirements, helping you to make the right choice for your print project.


Litho Printing

The most common, high-volume, commercial printing technology is Offset Lithography. The image is burned onto a metal plate using a laser, which is then loaded onto the printing press. This image is then transferred (or offset) onto a rubber blanket and then onto the printing surface, for example paper, card or plastics.


Digital Printing

Digital printing removes many of the mechanical steps used in conventional printing, including making the plates. But it’s certainly not the same as printing at home; the digital print presses used by professional printers are much more sophisticated than that!


  Benefits… Other consideration….
Litho ·    High quality, consistent image

·    Suitable for a wide range of surfaces including paper, card and plastics

·    Unit cost decreases as the quantity increases

·    Able to cope with long runs without losing quality

·    Special inks available – Pantone Spots and metallics

·    Expensive set up on short runs

·    Longer turn around on jobs

·    No variable data option

·    Smaller colour gamut therefore colours can be less bright


Digital ·    Quick setup time leading to fast turnaround of orders

·    Bright, vibrant images on a range of materials

·    Cheaper option for low volume printing

·    Personalisation using a database where text and graphics can be changed on each item without stopping or slowing down the press

·    Expensive on longer runs

·    Less colour control

·    Not suitable for all printed surfaces

·    Can be difficult to match pantone colours


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