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Hands-on inspiration

Digital Vs. Litho Printing

Here at Datum, we understand how print works. We really should do, it is one our core specialisms and we have been at the forefront of innovation in the field for over three decades. We work with a myriad of clients all of whom have differing degrees of knowledge of printing – be it lithographic, digital or both. Many have their own printing expertise garnered through personal experience in the industry, others have little or no interest in the “how?” but plenty in the “what can it do for my business?” Either way, and setting aside the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, we thought it might be useful to provide a brief, whistle-stop history of modern printing.

Lithographic (litho) printing was the major print method prior to the introduction of digital print.   It involves the transfer of the artwork from a metal plate to a rubber roller and onto the desired print surface. The need to produce a custom-made plate for every piece of artwork means that litho printing can be prohibitively expensive for anything but large print runs. Where modern litho printing has the edge is when the requirement is to produce higher quality print materials faster and more accurately than is possible with digital print.

Digital printing was introduced to commercial markets in 1991, and has revolutionised the print business through its unique ability to produce small quantities of print materials for a comparatively low cost. Digital printing ranks as one of the major innovations of the age, and enables us to produce high quality print work completely on-screen.

At Datum, we utilise digital print for the majority of our projects. That being said, we also operate a modern offset lithographic press for high quantity printing for longer print runs.

Whatever your print needs, get in touch with us and we can discuss the best solution for getting you exactly what you want, when you need it.