Digital printing is defined as imaging computer files directly to paper by electronic means without the use of printing plates. Inkjet, desktop laser, digital photo printers and large digital presses are all examples of digital print devices. The predominant method for high-speed digital production printing is electrophotographic toner-based technology (i.e. Xerography). The following notes apply to MGTL's toner-based digital sheetfed press.
Quick turnaround: As there is minimal prepress, our digital press can be running finished sheets shortly after receiving your file. No drying time is required, and multi-page jobs can come off the press collated.
Personalization: Variable data capability allows each printed sheet to be unique. This is especially useful for targeted marketing campaigns.
Price: Small quantity jobs can be produced more economically than with offset lithography as no press makeready time or platemaking is needed. Digital print has a clear price advantage on quantities under 600 press sheets. As an example: 2,000 postcards 5" x 7" running 4-out on a 12" x 18" press sheet require only 500 finished press sheets.
Duplex printing: Stocks up to and including 80# cover can be printed on both sides in one pass.
Proofing accuracy: The approval proof is a press proof.
Size: Most toner-based digital presses are two-page format. Our maximum trim size is 12" x 18.5", with a maximum sheet size of 12.5" x 19".
Constant unit cost: Unlike offset, the per-sheet cost does not drop substantially on large quantities. If the project requires die cutting, scoring or similar finishing operations, the higher per-sheet cost may make overs for spoilage and makeready expensive.
All color is CMYK: PMS colors always print as 4-color process on a digital press. We can often produce a job with one or two spot colors on our 20" offset press in the actual PMS color(s) at a cost competitive with our digital press.
Large solid-color areas: Solid color over a fold may crack. Large areas of solid color (particularly dark colors) on cover weight stocks may streak or mottle.
Paper: 12-point is generally the maximum stock thickness. Reproduction quality may suffer on heavily textured papers.