The digital printing press came into existence in the early 90s and revolutionised the time, cost and quality involved in short-run print. The most popular form of print before digital was lithographic, or ‘litho’ printing, which prints using large aluminium plates fitted to a cylinder. Litho printing is still used today, but is much better suited to longer print runs, such as books and bulk orders of 1,000 units or more. For short-run jobs consisting of anything from 1 unit to 1,000, digital is more cost-effective and much more environmentally friendly.
Digital printing uses IsoInk which consists of small particles of colour suspended in ‘imaging oil’. This solution is then electrically attracted or repelled to the printing surface to create the end result. It uses a series of numbers and formulas which are amalgamated into a dot matrix, also known as pixels. This means you can print the same images and type across a range of machines for results that are always consistent.
For those looking for print-on-demand, short runs and flexible, fast options, digital printing is ideal. Here are some of the reasons why we think digital printing is king:
18% of all print
Digital printing is far faster because there is minimal preparation involved. Litho printing would require film to be created and added to aluminium plates before the printing can take place. Digital printing allows the files to be printed off almost instantly.
Four colour printing is far more accessible and much cheaper using a digital press than a traditional litho press. This means that customers get far more options with regard to choosing colour and creating designs on a budget—no one wants to be limited by colour!
Ordering your print on a digital press means you only order as much as you need, so nothing is wasted. Digital presses are perfect for creating anything from 1 to 1,000 units, quickly and cost effectively.
Because digital printing doesn’t use any of the aluminium plates, chemicals and machines that litho printing relies on, it’s far better for the environment. They are more efficient to run, and because the print runs are so short, there is far less wastage.
For more freedom and flexibility with print, digital is ideal. At printed.com, we offer personalisation for some printed products (you give us a guest list and we add the personalised names) and different versions of artwork for one product. All these things are far more achievable when printed on a digital press.
Here at printed.com we are specialists in digital print, whether it’s one poster or a stack of business cards, we aim to create consistent print that is utterly flawless.
We have a collection of over 70 products, both large and small format, to suit any sized company — from small kitchen businesses to large companies. If you’re just looking to buy a little something for yourself, like a bundle of Instagram prints or a banner, our digital printing methods mean you won’t have to pay the earth!
Here is a small selection of the kinds of things a digital printer like us can help you create:
Network with pride and customise your print to create your own set of business cards.
Postcards are incredibly versatile, use them for promotions, as vouchers or shopping bag inserts.
High quality flyers or leaflets are an old favourite and still so effective for spreading the word.
Choose your shape, size and colour, then add designs for stickable print which does everything.
Display boards are printed on vinyl and mounted for strength, they’re great for advertising and exhibitions.
In 1993 the world's first digital colour printing press was launched — the Hewlett Packard Indigo Digital Printing Press, and its release transformed the world of print almost instantly.
An online print destination is really only as good as its printing presses. Technology is always changing and developing, so here at printed.com we do our best to keep an eye on the digital print industry to make sure that every printing press we have is top-of-the-range and up to date.
We have a 40,000sq ft. state-of-the-art printing facility in Newcastle, equipped with five HP Indigo presses and ten specialised large format presses, all at the very fore-front of modern printing technology.
Here’s a sneak peek at our current range of digital printing machines:
The HP Indigo 7600 is our newest press and has been heralded as the fastest, most precise press on the market to date. It can print on up to 2,500 different paper types and has the widest range of colours available in printing for photo-accurate results. This press is the must have printer of the moment.
Top printing speed: 160 pages per minute
The HP Indigo 7500 is another press that can provide print that is photo-quality. The super-fast print time of this press means that the printed.com team can get orders out much quicker than a standard press could. The 7500 is also compatible with lots of different paper types, meaning that we can offer more options to our customers.
Top printing speed: 120 four-colour A4 images per minute
An environmentally friendly digital printer, the HP Indigo 5500 print press has a revolutionary oil recycling system, designed to reduce consumption and waste, making it greener than your average press. Like the 7500 model, it is fast, efficient and due to its hands-free operation helps to cuts the amount of errors right back— what more could you ask for in a press?
Top printing speed: 68 four-colour A4 images per minute
The HP Scitex LX600 press is a specialist large format press, used for printing products like banners, display boards and posters. It can print on a huge range of different substrates so our customers have the most choice. It uses odourless latex inks which are environmentally friendly, so your print doesn’t hurt the planet.
Top printing speed: For high-quality indoor: (6-pass bidirectional) - 39 m²/hr (418 ft²/hr)
For water-resistant large format print that won’t fade, look no further than our HP Z6200 Designjet press. It can achieve up to 105.4 m2 of output every hour, now that’s fast! The HP Z6200 has an embedded spectrophotometer and uses eight pigment inks to ensure accurate colour output every time.
Top printing speed: 18 sec/page on A1/D or up to 128.5 m²/hr (1383 ft²/hr) on coated
Digital printing isn’t all about the presses, it’s also about the quality of the substrate that you print on. Different paper types will transform printed inks and give them a new look and feel, adding to the style of the print.
Papers come in different colours, textures and are also available in coated and uncoated varieties. Coated papers, such as silk or gloss, make printed colours look bright, vibrant and sharp, but are not great to write on with a pen or pencil. Uncoated papers, like the fancy textured varieties or your average office paper, will absorb ink to make it appear more soft, readable and modern.
Paper comes in different weights, known in the printing industry as GSM, an acronym for grams per square meter. The higher the GSM, the thicker the paper is.
Silk is a coated paper with a low surface shine; it gives all the lustre of gloss paper with all the readability of uncoated.
This is an uncoated, textured paper in a bright white shade. It gives a vintage edge to printed designs.
A slick, glossy, self-adhesive paper used in our sticker printing. Designs and text are defined and bright when printed on this.
This banner material is environmentally friendly, waterproof and 100% recyclable. When printed on this, designs are sharp and true.
GSM is an acronym standing for ‘Grams per Square Meter’. Quite simply, it allows print buyers and print suppliers to know exactly about the quality of paper that is being ordered. The higher the GSM number, the heavier the paper.