What is Digital Printing and How Does it Work?

The age of technology is not only revolutionising the way we live but also the way we print. There are two different types of printing services we use at WDM.

While Litho printing is a traditional method, still used today, digital printing can be a much cheaper and faster alternative printing process depending on your requirements.

What is Digital Printing?

What Is Digital Printing

To understand how the many printing processes work, we must first look at what is digital printing. Digital printing is a newer process to the world of printing, involving complex computing telling the machine how to create the image on paper. The digital printer will analyse this image and print it directly onto your chosen surface.

How does Digital Printing Work?

The printing process of digital printing is different to that of litho printing, which uses wet ink and transfers the same image via printing plates. Digital printing takes a different approach and assembles the images ready for print, from a complex set of numbers and formulas. These images are captured from pixels, and the digitalised image is used to control the deposition of ink, toner and exposure, to replicate the image you would like to print.

Digital printers are, most commonly, inkjet or toner-based printers. The Inkjet printer produces your image by mapping out minuscule droplets of ink onto your chosen paper surface – creating your image. Using toner – a fine, plastic based powder – this printer produces dots smaller than that of the Inkjet and comes out dry.

Advantages of Digital Printing

Digital printing refers to the modern method of printing, with a huge amount of benefits for the consumer.

Saves Time

A great advantage of digital printing, if not the biggest, is that it is much faster than traditional printing methods using plates. With digital printing, you only have to upload a high-res file of your chosen image and the digital printer will do the rest. Therefore, there is a much faster turnaround for your direct mail marketing campaign.


The digital printing process caters well for personalised direct mail marketing. Variable printing is available with this type of printing process, allowing for each piece of direct marketing – whether that be a flyer, leaflet or brochure – to be unique. In this day and age, it has become common accepted marketing practice to  think of your customers as individuals, and personalisation is unrivalled when it comes to digital printing.

Less Distortion of Images

The digital printing process produces higher quality prints from a lower resolution image. Digital technology has also significantly improved from the first printer of its type and, due to its non-contact printing process, this allows for less distortion of images. The finish of the print is typically sharp and precise, whereas litho printing offers a softer finished product.

More Development

With the surge in popularity for digital printing, the desire for this type of printing process is constantly undergoing development. As digital printing is faster and more cost effective, it is worthwhile adapting and improving. There are also other advantages in that digital printing requires fewer man hours, communication and has a higher turn around – all reasons to continue to develop the process in the future.

Cost Effective

As you’d expect from a faster and more efficient process, digital printing can run cheaper than traditional forms of print. You print only as much as you need with digital, but with litho printing there is a minimum amount. It’s also faster to set up, ideal for a small printing job.

At WDM, We Do More to help you and offer digital printing services, along with litho printing. To speak with one of our experts about your printer needs, just give us a call.


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