The Pros and Cons of Digital Printing

When you’re knee deep in digital printing projects all day long, it’s easy to forget that not everyone is going to know whether they should go with digital printing or bob and weave to the sounds of a traditional offset press. With that in mind, and the sound of the digital printer whirring in my ear, I thought I’d kick off the week with a quick run-down of the pros and cons of digital printing.

The Pros:

1) It’s cheap-relatively speaking. Since all the cost is upfront with offset printing, up to a certain point you’re going to pay a lower price per piece for digitally printed products.

2) You wind up with considerably less waste. One of my absolute favorite things about digital printing is the fact that you can print your pieces to order. So while you may pay more per piece to order 300 instead of 1,000, you won’t find yourself throwing away 700 brochures/flyers/guidebooks because they’re outdated either.

3) Personalization isn’t as far away as you think. Have you ever heard of variable digital printing, or variable data printing? Welcome to the power of the digital press. Insert your customer’s names and account numbers, personalize entire paragraphs and send out custom pieces to your entire mailing list with the press of a button.

4) Professional appearance without the professional cost. Remember how we said digital printing was cheap? The best thing about digital printing is that you sacrifice absolutely nothing in terms of quality, so small business owners can look as professional as a Fortune 500 corporation.

Digital printing

The Cons:

1) More cost per piece. Offset presses are designed to run huge volumes of printed products at one time, which means that once you creep past that 1,000 pieces+ mark you may pay less on a per piece basis than you would using a digital press.

2) Fewer mediums. Digital printing presses are quickly catching up to offset presses in terms of what they can and can’t print on, but we’re not there yet! So if you want to print on wood, rock or cloth, an offset press may be your best bet. For a few more years, anyway…

3) Um…um…nope, I’ve got nothing!

What do you love/dislike/despise about digital printing?