What’s the Difference


By now pretty much all print buyers understand and accept the differences between conventional litho printing and its digital counterpart. In a nutshell the latter is ideally suited for the shorter run work that’s needed in a hurry, with the compromise generally being a little in the way of quality. As the producer, each “copy” or “print” costs me the same, so while there are no set up costs like plates to pay for, beyond a certain point this steady unit by unit rise exceeds the litho set up. There is no fixed point at which this happens, but on multi page brochures and books for example this would normally be around the 250-500 mark.

Yet within the term “digital” there are still a couple of choices for you and at PrintHouse you will find us able to offer you both. The xerographic systems are great for producing good quality work at the lowest costs in the fastest timelines. Looking perfectly professional this system offers an ideal solution for those on the tightest budgets or for those items where absolute premium quality (I’m thinking flyers, posters, leaflets, handouts and the like) is not essential. For where it is the Indigo Press is the way to go. The xerographic systems are limited in the range of stocks (style and weight) they can run onto. And as the technique uses an oil to fuse down the toner (iron filings), the finished look often has a slightly glossy sheen. Where the Indigo differs is in its use of a specially formulated ink rather than a toner (oh, and in that the machine itself costs around 10 times as much!), allowing for a flatter and far more litho like finished look. And with a wider range of materials and an ability to run on up to 400gsm in weight, it really is an excellent substitute for litho when a short run or lightning turnaround are required. Yes it’s slightly more expensive than its xerographic cousin, but where a top quality booklet, brochure, report, book or the like is the name of the game then it’ll be your best spent few extra pounds!

Still a little unclear what’s you? Well worry not as myself and the team in sales will gladly advise what’s best for you — so any questions as to the right route for your next project just leave it to us to make the right suggestions.

One Response

  1. Just a nod about a tiny typo in this otherwise excellent article, probably a cut and paste oversight.

    ‘Still a little unclear what’s you?’ I would assume this should say something like – ‘…what’s best for you?’

    This explains so clearly the costing differences between litho and digital. As a digital only in-house printroom we are constantly explaining why our quotes for long run projects are embarrasingly much more expensive than from external litho printers. I might borrow the text and rewrite it slightly for our own situation. If that’s ok with you?

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