Digital printing technology has several advantages over conventional printing methods. The following list of items describes several key points that can be helpful when considering a shift from conventional to digital printing:
- Ease in Producing Personalized Applications
When using digital presses, the content on an application can be changed for every document that is printed, if necessary. Changing the content for each document can be useful for personalizing a project such as a direct mail piece or for producing an application such as a brochure in which many different versions are required. This method of printing is known as Variable Data Printing or Publishing (VDP).
- Increased Color Gamut
The color gamut or range of color that digital equipment is able to reproduce is much larger than that of traditional offset equipment. This feature of digital printing equipment allows for the best possible color reproduction.
- Wide Range of Application Widths
Digital print applications can be produced in almost any size format. Equipment is available that can print extremely wide images (several meters wide). Large images beyond the width capacity of the equipment can be produced in sections (tiled). After printing, the individual pieces can be assembled to create the entire image. Large banners or images covering walls of buildings are often created with this method.
- Cost Effectiveness of Digitally Printed Short Runs
Depending on the application, digital printing costs are often lower than conventional printing for the shortest runs because the digital workflow eliminates many of the manual operations of conventional processes. Time savings can be gained in prepress and the make-ready time on digital output equipment is less than conventional equipment. The time savings for short runs makes digital printing a good alternative to conventional printing.
- Print-on-Demand Frees Warehouse Space
Using conventional printing methods, large print runs of a document are produced, stored, and pulled from stock as needed. This provides cost savings because the price per document is less on a large quantity than it is on a short run. If changes to the document are required before all of the documents are used, the remainder would have to be destroyed, eliminating the cost savings. With digital printing, there is no need to keep large quantities of an item in stock since it is so easy to make changes whenever they are required. Applications can be printed "on-demand" or "just-in-time" allowing you to print only what is required, when it is required, reducing the risk of having to destroy obsolete documents.
- Savings of Time and Material, which Offsets the Costs of Updating Equipment
It can be expensive to purchase digital printing equipment and to keep the technology current, but the savings in make-ready time, the convenience in using digital equipment, and printing applications on demand, helps to offset the initial cost of the equipment and the subsequent cost of updates.