Digital vs Litho – Then and Now


So in the geet olden days (when Craig was an apprentice printer) the lithographic press was king and, in comparison, digital print was just a mere pauper. 

Huge lithographic machines, burning films that look up shed loads of space, churned out bang on print. As digital print was evolving it had some serious catching up to do and for a long time wasn’t even really taken seriously.

As digital print gained momentum, it started to develop some major plus points and Craig could see how to utilise those benefits (that’s how NPS started – check out our website for the full tale).

Anyhow, I digress…

Digital print was in all honestly pretty rubbish back then. It was mostly pixilated, couldn’t hold solids and probably cracked when you scored it.

Litho, however, was the boy. It was consistent and it delivered. But easy, fast and flexible are not words that go hand in hand with the litho boy back in the day.

Let’s move forward to the year 2015. It’s a wonderful time for print and, funnily enough, Craig doesn’t look much older than he did when he was an apprentice (50 years ago).

So, how can I best describe digital print to you now? Easy, fast and flexible is a pretty good place to start! What Craig saw all those years ago, was how technology was going to advance and, advance it did!

We run digital presses that print a quality that rivals lithographic print. It’s ideal for short to medium print runs, for variable data printing and is a little dream for running samples off for clients who want to make final changes, or see their work in the flesh before going live with a job.

Now, this doesn’t mean for one second that lithographic print has gone to seed.

We keep a monster Presstek DI rocking and rolling 24/7 at NPS and it’s not to be sniffed at! One of the most environmentally friendly machines built, it uses waterless ink to give the best possible print outcome every time.

Lithographic print is for serious volume at a great cost. Not only that, but when a specific spot colour is needed in a job our DI is the only way you are going to get a perfect match.

To summarise, the versus debate is easy!

You can choose the WAY your job is printed either based on the volume of print you need or the specific look you desire, without quality being compromised either way!

Looking for a metallic or spot colour to exactly match something you have in mind or a high volume job? Lithographic is the print path you need to follow.

Want short to medium runs of super high quality, fully calibrated print? Digital is where it’s at.

Both lithographic and digital print are princes in their own right in 2015 – the question is, which do you prefer?

  • Still not sure? Holla at us and we’ll help out! Call 0191 411 1698 or email info@northernprintsolutions.co.uk – we’ll treat you royally!