Litho printing

Litho Printing vs. Digital Printing: Choosing the Right Fit for Your Project

Posted by


When it comes to printing, selecting the right method can significantly impact the outcome of your project. Two primary contenders in the printing arena are litho and digital printing, each offering unique advantages and considerations. Let’s delve into the intricacies of litho and digital printing to help you make an informed decision for your printing needs.


Lithographic Printing (Litho)

Litho printing, also known as offset lithography, utilises wet ink and printing plates to transfer images onto paper. This method involves a multi-step process where the inked image is transferred from a printing plate to a rubber blanket before finally being imprinted onto the paper. Here are some key highlights of litho printing:

Exceptional Colour Control: Litho printing allows for precise colour control through the use of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) printing plates. This process ensures vibrant and accurate colour reproduction, making it ideal for projects requiring precise colour matching.

Versatility in Inks: Litho printing accommodates a wide range of inks, including spot colours and speciality inks such as metallic or fluorescent. This versatility enables the creation of visually stunning prints with unique finishes.

Ideal for Large Print Runs: While litho printing involves a setup process, it becomes cost-effective for longer print runs due to lower per-unit costs. It is particularly suitable for projects with high volume requirements.


Digital Printing

Digital printing, on the other hand, relies on electronic files and toners or inks to produce prints directly from a digital file. Unlike litho printing, digital printing does not require printing plates, making it more suitable for short print runs and projects requiring quick turnaround times. Here are some key aspects of digital printing:

Cost-Effective for Short Runs: Digital printing excels in producing small to medium print runs with minimal setup time. This makes it a cost-effective option for projects with lower volume requirements.

Quick Turnaround: With no setup or drying time required, digital printing offers rapid turnaround times, making it ideal for projects with tight deadlines.

Personalisation Capabilities: Digital printing enables personalisation through variable data printing, allowing for customised content tailored to individual recipients. This feature is valuable for marketing campaigns and personalised communications.

Our 7 colour HP Indigo digital printer is exceptional. A B2 sheet-fed digital press that offers virtually unlimited applications with breakthrough print quality. With the option to print white, 7 colours and on the widest range of substrates read more here.


Choosing Between Litho and Digital Printing

When deciding between litho and digital printing, several factors come into play:

Print Run Length: For longer print runs, litho printing typically offers better cost efficiency, while digital printing is more suitable for shorter print runs.

Lead Time: Digital printing boasts quicker turnaround times due to its streamlined process, making it ideal for projects with tight deadlines.

Quality and Colour Accuracy: While litho printing historically offered superior quality, digital printing technology has advanced significantly, providing comparable quality in most cases.

Special Finishes and Effects: If your project requires speciality finishes such as metallic inks or UV varnishing, litho printing may be the better choice.

To summarise, both litho and digital printing offer distinct advantages depending on the specific requirements of your project. By considering factors such as print run length, turnaround time, and desired finishes, you can make an informed decision to ensure the success of your printing project. Whether you opt for traditional litho printing or the modern efficiency of digital printing, you can rest assured that both methods are capable of delivering exceptional results tailored to your needs.

See all News posts

Need help? Contact us by email or call our team on 01423 881158