The Difference Between Litho Printing and Digital Printing

Published: 14th October 2010
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If printed leaflets, brochures, mailers, booklets, posters, folders or stationery is something that is of interest to you, then investigating the difference between litho printing and digital printing is important to consider.

Firstly, we should consider what each type of printing processes are as digital and litho printing differ greatly in terms of what results they can give;

Digital printing is the reproduction, both text and illustrations of digital images on physical surfaces like photographic paper, film, cloth and plastic. The ink or toner used in digital printing does not absorb into the paper, it forms a layer on the surface, unlike litho.

Litho printing, also known as Lithography is a printing process in which the paper makes contact with the whole surface of the plate but the image areas of the surface are treated to receive and transmit ink to the paper. The non-image areas are treated with water, which rejects the ink from the ink roller.

It could be said that digital printing has started to take over many traditional ways of print methods. Every impression made onto the paper can be different, as opposed to making several hundred or thousand impressions of the same thing from one set of plates to traditional methods. The advantage of digital printing is if a design needs to be tweaked or amended, the original computer file is easily updated at a low cost. The computer works in sync with the digital printer to produce a smoothly finished image. Digital printing is considered economically friendly as it wastes less chemicals and paper.

Litho printing is a technique where the inked image is transferred from a metal plate to a rubber blanket. Typically, printing plates are attached to a cylinder in the press, link is applied to the plates image are and transferred directly to the paper. One major advantage of litho printing is that the soft rubber surface of the blanket creates a clear impression on a wide variety of paper and materials.

For more information on various printing services or techniques, do not hesitate to call JTM, Printing Preston ( 01772 322777.

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