Digital print technology has become rather commonplace in today’s society. As a result, it is often taken for granted. The possibilities are almost limitless, ranging from business cards to mailings and company letterheads.
However, it is just as important to remember that these techniques have only existed for a handful of decades. Many contemporary approaches would have been almost impossible to achieve in the past. That’s why it’s important to examine what digital printing entails before discussing its primary advantages.
What do digital print techniques entail?
Before we move on and discuss the main benefits, it is prudent to briefly define digital printing. Perhaps the main takeaway point is that digital print technology does not require the use of printing plates. That is not the case with traditional methods, such as offset printing. As a result, much less waste is generated. It is possible to complete most projects at an extremely fast rate.
Notwithstanding this fundamental difference, there are actually several types of digital printing that may be employed. These include:
- On-demand projects
- Variable data printing (for customised projects)
- Web-to-print services
Those who wish to learn more about these methods are encouraged to perform additional research at their convenience.
Why have digital print services become so popular?
One primary reason for the popularity of digital print involves its sheer versatility. Unlike analogue approaches that require physical plates, software applications can now adapt to various project requirements. Furthermore, workers can generally obtain the needed training to operate such software within a relatively short duration of time.
These are just some reasons why the value of the global digital printing industry is predicted to exceed $20 billion dollars by the year 2026; representing an annual growth rate of roughly 2.5 per cent. What are some of the other advantages that can be directly attributed to the world of digital print?
Obtaining an environmentally friendly edge
Sustainability is an important concept for many businesses. Firms are always looking for ways in which they can reduce their carbon footprint. Common examples include utilizing solar power when appropriate, adopting a hybrid work environment, and using
Digital print services can offer similar advantages. Unlike traditional techniques, this type of printing will waste much less ink (the ink is only applied where needed). Furthermore, printing plates will no longer need to be cleaned with chemicals that may harm the environment. And with print on demand we only print what is needed.
Time is money within the modern business community. Analogue printing techniques were often notoriously laborious because plates needed to be changed regularly. This tedious cleaning process would hamper the efforts associated with even the simplest projects. Thankfully, digital print strategies streamline on-demand workflows.
This simplification is largely due to the automated nature of the programs themselves. Once the user defines certain parameters, the printing process will normally not require human intervention. Thus, jobs that might have required days to complete in the past can be tackled within a matter of hours.
Perceived value to the customer
It is also important to mention that digital print technology can accommodate even the most stringent client demands. While tasks such as those accomplished with a laser or inkjet printer are commonplace, other needs can be fulfilled.
For example, digital printers will often provide the option to include additional effects, such as embossing and high-gloss finishes. These are desirable when creating business cards, corporate brochures, documents with raised lettering and similar types of stationery.
Another confounding issue often attributed to analogue printing also involves the fact that it was often prone to errors. There was even a time when an entire roll of paper or cardstock needed to be discarded due to a one-off mistake. This situation is significantly less likely to occur when digital print techniques are employed.
First and foremost, the user can define and change even the finest details during the initial setup process. It is likewise possible to monitor each printing stage for quality assurance purposes. Even if an error is detected, it can normally be rectified without experiencing any significant downtime.
In rare cases, it’s also possible a bulk mistake could occur. Then, the substrates themselves (such as paper or packaging products) can be easily destroyed with professional shredding machines. This solution helps reduce in-house waste while providing the business with an environmentally friendly edge.
On-demand digital print solutions
Bulk digital printing is arguably the most common approach associated with the business community. However, there can also be times when one-off projects need to be addressed. For example, if a firm produces a single item (such as an advertisement) before it is approved for large-scale production.
Digital printers can easily accommodate such requirements. Once again, this arises because there are no physical plates present. Variable data printing is likewise used by smaller businesses that may not deal with large volumes at any given time. To simply state it, the return on investment (ROI) associated with variable data printing cannot be denied.
Reduced efforts spent on colour matching
Digital printing is also unique since colour matching will no longer present itself as an issue. In the past, it was often difficult to accurately match the tones associated with a specific image. Essentially, this led to inaccurate reproductions, which is a real problem when creating logos and branded materials.
Advanced software algorithms can now quickly match a virtually limitless number of colours. This ability signifies that production times are dramatically reduced. Of course, such an advantage can never be overlooked when dealing with challenging timelines or larger projects.
A streamlined working environment
Older printing methods were somewhat messy when compared with new techniques. Digital printing produces much less waste. Therefore, it ensures a cleaner operational environment. Let’s also remember that these machines by themselves require much less space.
What is the future of digital print?
What can we expect from this industry in the future? One key takeaway involves using green technology alongside sustainable resources (such as organic inks). Another notable trend involves the ability of average consumers to access advanced software platforms. This trend is extremely beneficial for entrepreneurs and start-up ventures.
While offset printing is still used to address many projects, digital printing techniques are here to stay. Would you like to learn more about how digital printing helps the environment, or how excess waste is recycled? If so, please take a moment to contact the team at Hunkeler AG.