Until recently, printing books, posters, pamphlets and brochures was the sole domain of offset presses. To make printing economical, you had to order large qualities of printouts at a huge cost. If you needed only a few copies, you were out of luck. These days, computers and printers have completely changed the picture. You don’t have to put yourself at the mercy of expensive presses who not only charged you hefty fees, but also take their own royal time.
Today, digital printing is fast replacing offset printing for all purposes except those requiring very high volumes of printouts, such as books and posters that are sold commercially. The reason is simple. With a computer, printer (preferably a color laser or inkjet), paper and print and finishing solutions, anyone can turn their home or office into a press. Amazing, considering that it was not so long ago that offset printing replaced the slow and cumbersome lithographic printing, which was the only method for hundreds of years.
Digital printing is becoming popular because it offers the kind of flexibility that you can only dream of with the traditional methods of printing. Using a page making and designing software, you can create your own designs within minutes. You can instantly take photos on your digital camera or cell phone and insert the same in your design. You can design and re-design as many times as you like before you are satisfied. You can also make several printouts before you get it right.
Besides being flexible, digital printing also helps reduce the cost of printing. Traditionally, if you wanted only fifty or so copies of your company brochure, you had to print the minimum required 500 copies or so. That was alright for large number of copies, but for a smaller number of copies the cost per page was very high. Digital printing has solved that problem once and for all. Now you can print a small number of copies economically – without having to incur a high cost per page.
Besides printing your documents, you can also do the finishing yourself to reduce the cost. You will need binding and finishing equipment such as staplers, binders, shredders, bursters and laminators for that. You can find these in any stationeries shop in your neighborhood. You can also order these items from websites that specialize in supplying print finishing materials and equipments. However, you should be wary of buying any products from unknown brands as they are likely to be of low quality.
Anther reason digital printing is becoming popular is that it removes the lengthy and complicated stages of traditional publishing. All you need is a fast computer, a word processor or designing software, and a quality printer. There is no need to find a press, find a graphics artist, negotiate the price, choose the various options that you know nothing about and wait for days to collect the product. No wonder individuals and companies are forsaking offsetting printing in favor of digital printing.