Litho printing vs digital – is there a difference?
The world was forever changed in 1439—the year German businessman Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Books that once cost a years wages to purchase were now available to the masses. Science, politics, religion, philosophy—studies once relegated only to the wealthiest and highly educated were now disciplines growing and changing the minds of people everywhere.
Many changes and advancements in the art of printing have been made over the last 580 years. In 1796, the art of lithography was invented by a Bavarian actor and playright named Alois Senefelder. A still younger child in the printing family is digital printing. The first digital presses were sold and used in the early 1990’s.
In this article, we will learn the definitions of and the differences between “digital printing” and “litho printing.” This article will serve as a useful tool in determining which of the two printing methods are right for your printing project. Let’s begin by defining terms.
“Digital Printing”: the method of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small-run jobs from desktop publishing programs (i.e. from a computer) and other digital sources are printed using large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers.
“Litho” (short for “Lithography” or “Lithographic”): the method of printing from a plane surface (such as a smooth stone or metal plate) on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area ink-repellent.
Regarding print quality
Although great strides have been made in recent years, and although lithography is a method 200 years older than digital printing, litho still has the upper hand over digital when it comes to quality. Because the lithographic method uses actual ink, as opposed to digital images, a litho image comes closest to the original artwork or design. Yet again, today’s technology allows printers to recreate colour designs by utilizing the digital medium that are so sharp, it can be difficult for the untrained eye to tell the difference between a lithograph and a digital print.
An easy way to determine which of the two methods to use for your printing project—digital or litho—is to simply consider the size of your print run. Lithography becomes more cost effective than digital printing when your project will run generally over 500 sheets. That being said, you will still want to utilize the skill and expertise of a professional printer when determining which of the two methods to use. Every project is unique, and it is necessary that every element of the project is given due consideration.
This is where we at Afford A Print can come in. We will help you determine which of these two printing methods will best suite your needs. Then, we will assist you with your design elements, determining the optimal size of your print run. We can “shepherd” you through every aspect of your printing project. So if it’s a small run of business cards, or a large print run of flyers, Contact us today to discuss your printing needs.
Why use us for your digital or litho printing needs?
A client gave us a recommendation on Linkedin, they said
“Nigel’s service was fantastically prompt and the quality was great. This was my first time doing anything in regards to Business cards.
Thankfully Nigel walked me through it every step of the way and with his prompt response and understanding nature. I will definitely be going back for further business in the future and i would recommend anyone towards Nigel’s service. ”
Your can read more of our client recommendations on Linkedin by clicking here.
Southampton Hospital Charity kindly left us a review on Freeindex. They said:
“I want to thank Nigel Williams for his professionalism while working with him on several recent printing projects. Afford-A-Print were easy to work with throughout the whole process from the quote, designing, printing and invoicing. Confidential material was handled correctly at all times when needed.
Nigel sent me over samples and prices for flyers, posters and business cards so that I had these to hand when asked by our staff as often they want a quick turnaround! Being a charity, cost is crucial to keep as low as possible. Nigel has been keen to work with us on the projects, and offer us a discounted rate where possible.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Nigel and the Afford-A-Print team to anyone needing any form of printing. Donna Parsons. Marketing and Communications Officer, Southampton Hospital Charity.”
You can read more reviews on Freeindex by clicking here.