Digital Printing vs. Press Printing: A Comparison

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Brand identity and advertising rely on high-quality color printing. If you're looking for the perfect machine to print your next banner or brochure, make sure to do your research. It can be difficult to decide which machine best suits your needs. Here is an overview of the differences between digital printing and press printing to help you narrow your search.

Digital vs. Press: What's the Difference?

It may seem like a printer is a printer, and there isn't much of a difference. But when you look at the results, it's clear that both machines are optimized for certain kinds of jobs.

Digital Printing: Pros and Cons

Digital printing is less expensive and can be a faster choice, but comes with a certain loss of quality for some jobs.

  • Pro: Less expensive. Digital printing runs about 1/2 the cost of press printing.
  • Pro: Fast results. Digital printing is often faster than press printing.
  • Pro: Accurate proofing. Since you create your job on the same machine you print on, proofs are often more accurate.
  • Con: Loss of color accuracy. For more print jobs, this isn't of great concern. But digital printing does have slight variations in color because it relies on a four-color printing process.
  • Con: Loss of color range. This is related to the accuracy point. Digital printers rely on a smaller range of colors than press printers.

Press Printing: Pros and Cons

Press printing is a popular choice among fine art printers and photographers for its stunning color results.

  • Pro: Excellent color accuracy. Press printing utilizes the Pantone Matching System for colors, offering near-perfect color reproduction.
  • Pro: Wide range of finishing options. From embossing to die cutting to foil stamping, press printers are the gold standard for creative print finishing.
  • Con: Slow results. Compared to digital printing, a press printer can be slower.
  • Con: More costly. Press printers are about twice the cost of digital printers, mostly due to the many accessories needed.

Still have questions? Give us a call today to learn more about which production printer is right for you.

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