Digital Print Versus Litho Print – Which is the Best option for Direct Marketing

When printing material you have two main printing options available to you: digital or litho. Both are commonly used in direct marketing campaigns and have different strengths and weaknesses.

What is digital print?

Digital printing is a process by which publications are prepared as an electronic file and then printed out by a printer that reproduces the image from millions of dots made from ink or toner. Digital print runs can have a very short turnaround time and avoid the set up costs associated with traditional print. Digital print is usually a good option for small print runs and for personalised publications with personalisation extending to images as well as data.

What is litho print?

The litho printing process involves creating a series of plates that are loaded onto a printing press to transfer the ink to paper. Modern litho print presses are very fast and accurate but require expensive setup before a print run can begin.

Litho print produces high quality results with accurate colour reproduction and is very cost effective when used on high volume or longer print runs. Generally, the more you print, the less you pay per item.

Litho prints also offer a number of extra options such as UV coating, which prevents prints from fading and protects them from moisture. There are also some impressive creative options available such as foil-stamping.

Is digital or litho print the best option for your direct mail campaign? Sharp Cat can advise on which method is the most cost effective and appropriate for you.

In the world of direct mail, the personalisation option that is offered by digital printing can be used to great effect to increase engagement with printed materials. Personalisation can be easily automated so that each printed document is slightly different, for example including the name of the recipient or a recipient specific image.

Digital provides a great option for cost effective, quickly produced small print runs and can start with just one item.

For large print runs, it is normally a more cost effective choice to outsource printing to a specialist printer so that you can concentrate on the other aspects of your direct marketing campaign.

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