Published on February 18, 2014
Digital Printing in an Electronic World
Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years. -Henry David Thoreau
Why Is Print Important in a Digital Age? 3
Print Stands the Test of Time PRINT IS… Tangible: A print piece is a physical thing. Magazines and newspapers can stay in houses or offices for months or years, while Internet ads can disappear into cyber space instantaneously. Credible: The saturation of pop-ups and banners ads on the web can be overwhelming and the fear of spam and viruses make people weary of clicking on it. There is no imminent danger in a print ad. Engaging: Consumers are more engaged when reading printed material than websites, which are often skimmed in as little as 15 seconds. 4
Print is a Viable Option in a Digital World Print has been an effective marketing medium for thousands of years, but digital advertising has only been a viable marketing channel since the 1990’s. Digital and print are both effective marketing tools. In our increasingly digital world, information rules all. It’s not a question of print or digital – it’s how they work together to ensure a meaningful connection with consumers. 5
From Offset to Digital: The Print Evolution 6
What’s the Difference Between Offset and Digital? Offset Printing has been in use as we know it since the early 1900’s. Digital Printing was first used in the early 1990’s and became a viable option in the early 2000’s. It involves a mechanical process of applying layers of ink (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) to paper with a series of rollers. The process eliminates many of the steps involved in offset printing, such as creating films and plates for ink rollers. These rollers transfer ink and build layers of colors, resulting in complete images and text on the page. Digital presses apply ink in a single pass from a single ink head, resulting in a quick turnaround at a (generally) lower cost. 7
Is Digital or Offset the Better Solution? While you still can’t beat offset for very large runs that require exact color and quality standards, digital has quickly gained ground as a viable option for marketers with high standards and competitive budgets. 8
Appendix A: Facing the Nuances of Digital Printing
What are the Challenges? Since Digital Printing became a viable solution in the past decade, there has been a lot of dialogue regarding what digital printing technology CAN do… but there has been very little information available on what challenges you may face when using this format and how to address them. 10
How is Digital Printing Different? In most cases, a digital press will produce a high-quality piece with few challenges. However, when preparing files for a digital job, give special consideration to the following: PMS Colors: PMS reproduction is more of a challenge on a digital press than on offset. Always ask for a color accurate proof. Registration: Proceed cautiously with designs than require close registration of PMS and 4 color areas. Fine Type: Achievable and legible limits on type size are subjective, and particularly challenging in serif fonts. Beware of fine grey type. 11
Appendix B: Tools for Designers and Printers
Tools for Designers and Printers FIND THESE TOOLS AND MORE AT UNISOURCEDIGITAL.COM 13
Tools for Designers and Printers Download our test sheet to compare four color process, halftone and line art images on the same sheet and more. Test serif, sans serif and 5pt type for legibility. FIND THESE TOOLS AND MORE AT UNISOURCEDIGITAL.COM 14
Appendix C: The Equipment
Equipment The HP Indigo 7600 prints up to 120 page/minute; maximum sheet size of 13” x 19” The Kodak NexPress SX3900 is always updatable and upgradeable; prints up to 3600 pages/hour; maximum sheet size of 14” x 36” The HP Indigo 10000 prints about 57.5 pages/minute; maximum sheet size of 29.5” x 20.9” The Canon IMAGEpress C7000 prints up to 70 pages/minute; maximum sheet size of 13” x 19.2” 16
Equipment The Xerox J75 prints up to 75 pages/minute; maximum sheet size of 13” x 19.2” The Xerox iGen4 prints up to 110 pages/minute; maximum sheet size of 14.33” x 22.5” The MGI DP8700 XL Up to 4,260 A4/Letter pages/hour; maximum sheet size of 13x26’’ standard or 13x40’’ with option ** 17
Online and Offline, Unisource is your digital printing partner. Visit UnisourceDigital.com for tools and resources essential to a successful digital printing experience. Check out our blog post, Four Challenges You May Face With Digital Printing on our blog, Unisource Unplugged. twitter.com/Unisource_UWW linkedin.com/company/unisource-worldwide-inc
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