Print Affair

General Litho Printers Cape Town


By leigh | September 11, 2014 | 0 Comment

Often people are not aware of the difference between Litho and Digital printing.

Whilst digital machines are improving technologically every year, there is a definite difference in print quality as opposed to Litho. You cannot reproduce the same high quality on a digital printed as you would on an offeset printer (Litho Print)

I often come across disgruntled clients that bought the slightly cheaper option (digital) not realising at the time that in fact the quality was not what they were hoping for. I am not slating digital printing at all, however there are certain things to keep in mind when choosing to print. I have listed the pros and cons of both.

Offset Lithography
Its a process by which ink is rolled on to paper and rests on the surface as well as being absorbed into the paper. This process is my preferred choice because its gives me the most accurate control of colour, variation of colour and paper weight. I have put together a list of pros and cons to Offset Printing below;


Allows the most wide range of color re-production. Bright florescent colours, Pantones, metallics, foils and varnishes can all be produced using this method of printing.
Allows the most accurate color re-production and consistency
A wide variety paper weights, size and textures
Adjustments to ink density
Better quality inks
Large print runs can be reproduced and extremely quickly


Setup time is slower and a lot more production steps are required
Cost of printing low quantities (under 500 copies) can be more expensive
You can not just print out one copy
Printing press machines can be fairly large and require trained personal (press men) to work and maintain them
For quality print results an experienced press man is a necessity
A lot more attention to detail is required to make sure that the quality of the results is acceptable. An experiencing graphic designer and press man working together can ensure the best results though.

Digital Printing
Originally invented as a pre-press digital proofing system, it was designed to emulate the final printing press results giving customers an idea of what their final printing press project would look like. The process eventually evolved into an alternative printing solution.

I have put together a list of pros and cons to Digital Printing below;

Short turn around time, quick, no drying time for inks
Affordable, cost effective solution for small print runs under 500 copies
You can print out just one copy
Digital printers are more readily available and getting pricing is faster and does not require a formal quote from a print representative

Colour consistency is not as consistent as litho
Larger quantities exceeding 500 copies can be more expensive
Pantone® colors can not be reproduced
Difficult to reproduce colors accurately
Can not reproduce metallic inks, foils or varnishes
Weight of paper is limited and size of paper in most cases
Final results are limited to a semi-gloss or gloss finish
Not able to reproduce a matt finish very well
Ink is not not absorbed into paper rather it sits on top of paper and makes it more susceptible to cracking

If you aren’t sure about which print process to use, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to assist you with free advice.