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Digital Printing Pros & Cons

Posted on 12 October 2022
Digital Printing Pros & Cons

How does digital printing work?

Digital printing works by processing and translating images and then printing them. Digital printing produces vivid, colourful images with fast turnaround times and cost-effective pricing.

With advances in printing technology, digital printing has become one of the most widely used options for both individuals and businesses alike, however, it still has limitations that alternatives, like offset printing, don’t.


Advantages of colour printing

Full vivid colour

Digital printing can produce a wider range of colours as opposed to many alternatives, making printed images more vivid, realistic, and closer to the desired outcome. 

Fast Delivery

Digital printing has one of the fastest turnaround times from ordering to receiving a finished product. This is because the printing process requires fewer steps.

Environmentally friendly

With fewer steps involved, digital printing is typically the more environmentally friendly option for printing in smaller quantities. There are two reasons for this, first, it is faster and uses less power. Second, there are fewer 

Low cost for small-quantity printing

Digital printing is often the most cost-effective way to print in New Zealand when printing smaller quantities (fewer than 500 products). This is because the process involves fewer steps, and will take a shorter amount of time than offset printing.


Disadvantages of digital printing

Smaller printing sizes

Digital printing is limited in the size of the products it can print. Unlike offset printing and other alternatives, digital printing is usually limited to a size cap of 100cm or one metre (40 inches). Most products like posters will be suited to digital printing in smaller quantities, but for roll-up posters or banners, there may be better alternatives.

Longer runs or higher quantities cost more

As your printing job gets longer, the cost-effectiveness may begin to deteriorate. For larger printing jobs, offset is usually the more beneficial option.

Colour limitations

For the most part, digital printing can match your desired image and produce vibrant colours. However, there are some limitations that offset printing can produce better such as shades of tan and light blues.

Material limitations

Like limitations in colour and size, digital printing can’t match the different materials that offset printing can use. Digital printing can still print on materials such as paper, cardboard, and glossy finishes like on some posters, however, it can’t print onto some fabrics that offset can. As well as this, offset printing may be more durable on the materials mentioned above.



Tips to decide between offset and digital printing

In summary, digital printing is the better choice for vivid colours in smaller printing quantities. For larger jobs, digital printing may not be the most cost-effective option - in this case, it may be better to opt for offset printing.

To learn more about the differences between offset and digital printing, read our helpful guide. 

And, for an accurate estimate of the cost of your digital printing task, find a local Snap printing centre near you

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