Digital printing is dynamic, alive, colourful and crisp, just as good as offset, rotogravure and flexographic printing techniques, which utilize various forms of plates.
However, digital printing is uniquely the friend of spontaneity, allowing new words and images to happen up to the last second. Changes on press, which used to be regarded as cost prohibitive, are now routine. Digital printing has these attributes by being plateless—a true technological breakthrough to overcome the cumbersome barrier of plates.
Any definition of digital printing should begin with the elimination of traditional steps, combined with the ability to print a handful of finished pieces or run of 10,000 on demand. No more film making, colour proofs, manual stripping and plate making. No more time wasted between all the steps.
Read more: Digital luxury
What could be called the digital signature is electronic sorting and organizing of pages versus traditional signatures, which sequence pages for traditional printing processes. The other side of digital signature is the potential for uniqueness of every piece printed.
Small run, prototype superiority
Increasingly, digital ink jet printing is becoming the standard for small runs for commercial and even individual printing. Small runs of high quality allow for prototypes to demonstrate the look and feel of final packaging and printed products.
The exact same preparation for small runs is the path for much larger runs, which means that ink jet digital printing has the potential to become a dominant force in commercial printing.
It’s appropriate to compare digital printing to a race car, based on rapid start up time, but also to a work horse, which carries a heavy load, and steadily delivers a known end result every time.