What is on–demand, digital printing? Defined, it’s a printing technology that allows for digital files to be quickly and economically printed in short run quantities (short run is considered about 5,000 prints or less). However, what on–demand, digital printing actually is and what it can do for a business is much greater than its definition.
On–demand, digital printing is a powerful accumulation of technologies that will change the way you communicate with your audience.
Before I get into describing all the benefits of using on–demand, digital print technology, I think it would be helpful for you to understand the traditional commercial printing process. In contrast to it, you’ll be able to appreciate the significant advantages of on–demand, digital printing.
The most common technique used for high–volume commercial printing today is color offset printing. It’s a method that prints layers of four, and sometimes six, different colors of semi–transparent ink on top of one another in order to reproduce the original image.
The Color Offset Printing Process
The process starts with having the original artwork, image and text, separated into red, green and blue components. Each of those color separations are then inverted and negatives are produced. Think of it like a roll of film from your camera. When it’s developed, the images on the negative are represented in colors opposite to the actual, true–life color values. In color offset printing, the opposite to red, green and blue is cyan, magenta, and yellow, respectively—the three main pigments used in printing to reproduce color images. In addition, a black separation is made to help “fill in” shadows and improve contrast of the image.
Next, each color separation, or layer, is represented on a plate or screen. Ink will be rolled onto each of those four screens. Then, the screens will be aligned and, one at a time, each screen will be pressed against paper to transfer the ink and reproduce the original image.
As you can see, preparing and printing the artwork using a color offset process is arduous and time consuming. There is little room for missteps or errors. Flexibility to allow slight adjustments in marketing message is just about non–existent. Read More