Of all the benefits that modern technology has given our customers in recent years, the advent of high quality digital printing is arguably the greatest.
It wasn’t so long ago that you could sign off your job, go for a fortnight’s holiday and still be back in time to check with your printers exactly when they were going to get round to delivering it. Nowadays you can send us the artwork file one morning and, more often than not, have printed copies ready for collection or delivery the next. And it doesn’t usually cost a bean to have a printed proof to sign off before we roar into action.
What has also changed in recent years is that digital print is no longer litho’s garish relation. It’s hard now, without the aid of a magnifying glass, to spot the difference. We’re currently on our fourth model digital printer and they just keep getting better!
Best of all, though, is the huge saving to be made when you don’t have to bother with plates, machine minders and all the attendant paraphernalia — it really has become printing almost at the click of a mouse.
It comes as a surprise to many, therefore, to learn that digital print is still something of a niche area of the print market, accounting for less than 20% of all printing. This is largely because litho is still (for now) the most cost-effective means of printing large quantities. We’re not just talking Fifty Shades of Grey or the Daily Mail; once you’re heading in the direction of four figures, the endless remaking of the image that the digital process entails begins to look less competitive against the larger sheet sizes rattling through the great litho presses.
For most of our customers, however, digital printing should at least be cause for a little more joie de vivre.