Digital printing is a form of printing where a digital image is printed directly onto materials such as cardboard and paper. Digital printing does have a higher cost per item but price is reduced by the low cost of set up compared to traditional printing.
Digital printers usually use a four colour process (CMYK) which consists of C (Cyan), M (Magenta), Y (Yellow) and K (Black) with variations on these colours meaning a huge range of colours can be produced. Digital printing allows you to print directly onto the ‘substrate’ which essentially means print onto cardboard or paper or whatever material you are printing to.
So, what are the benefits of digital printing?
For short run printing the cost is far less than offset printing. The cost of digital printing is also lowered by the reduced setup costs. No tooling such as that required by print plates is needed. And in terms of short-run printing, the cost of labour is also reduced. In addition to this you only pay for the print that you need. The speed of printing also helps you get your products sent out to customers far more quickly, helping to grow revenue.
Nowadays we all have higher expectations when it comes to time to market and speed of delivery. With digital print you can get your brand on packaging very quickly because some of the factors that made traditional print methods slow such as tooling and the need for manual pre-print procedures are no longer needed. That all speeds up the printing process and offers shortened lead times.
The cost of setup for print methods such as litho or offset printing can be a barrier to small businesses if only a short run of printing is needed. Digital printing is perfect for smaller order volume and won’t swallow up your entire marketing budget. It also means you aren’t committed to a single design and can be more agile when it comes to responding to customer demand.
Traditional print methods can make it difficult to deal with the variety of packaging options available. Digital printing however can be used to brand cardboard boxes of all different sizes and cuts, from candle boxes to shipping boxes. In addition to this digital can also be used to print on packaging tape, tissue and film. Digital printing can be used on:
This opens up a whole world of possibility when it comes to box printing including:
Digital printing is highly automated meaning there is less chance for human error.
Digital printing is eco-friendly as there is no need for prepress procedures and also reduces the amount of material that is needed to produce packaging.
Digital printers are more efficient than traditional machines and use less energy to print jobs much faster. Printed material comes off the press dry so there is no need for air drying. It also takes much less paper to set a job up so reduces paper waste. A digital printer does not need printing plates or the chemicals required by a litho press for example.
Digital print is perfect for personalisation that just is not possible with offset printing. Businesses can customize packaging with clients details whilst keeping the rest of the branding consistent and each print can be personalised without extra cost.
The great thing about digital printing is if you are not happy with your initial design, updates can be made very quickly. Tweaks can be made and designs trialled. Digital printing is great for both short runs and prototyping samples, meaning you can test, test and test again before commiting to a larger volume run.
One benefit of digital that might not be initially apparent is that digital printing can be used to produce detail that is not easy to reproduce in counterfeit goods.
Digital printing offers superb colour accuracy meaning that your designs are far more likely to be realised just as you envisaged them. What’s more, the ability to run small batches means you can experiment and test your brand’s colour scheme.