Printing is a term used for mass print production for many century’s ago and printmaking industry is very vast, So printing on different types of material uses different printing technology material and tools. Whatever content (image and text) we see around us is either printed through traditional or digital process.
Printing techniques on paper (sheet/roll-to-roll paper), printing methods for t-shirts, printing methods for pouch packaging, etc use different types of printing mechanisms (manual, semi-automated, or fully automated). Now we can segregate printing technology into 2 main parts for better understanding.
- Traditional Printing
- Digital Printing
It is oldest form of printing. traditional printing technology involve Carving, Engraving, Making Stencil and crafting variety of materials etc. It required different types of tool, skilled and experienced person to produce a result. Before print the first copy, traditional printing process required basic set-up costs of block carving, plate making, silk screen, cylinder making, color sampling, time-consuming process, etc.
There are 4 main types of traditional printing ways
- Relief Printing (Wood Block Carving)
- Analog Printing
- Lithography Printing
- Screen Printing
Usually, traditional printing is labor extensive, with high basic print setup costs & high labor expensive process but beneficial for high-volume print runs. Traditional printing can be applied almost on all types of media on paper, metal, plastic, wood, and fabric using a variety of printing applications. There are several traditional printmaking processes such as Offset Printing | Screen Printing | Pad Printing | Rotogravure Printing | Flexo Printing | Block Printing etc. are the most common printing methods used worldwide as the best option and lower volume print run on paper and various other substrates Screen Printing are worldwide appreciated.
Traditional printing method undergoes major steps | Creating Design | Negative/Positive | Plate Making Process | Silk Screen | Print Block (Male-Female Dye | Print Process Setup | Proof Reading | and Then Production.
- Traditional printing is best known for its cheaper price per unit.
- High print speed.
- Larger media are printable.
- Low Investment print business setup
- Unique print impression which can’t produce using digital print process.
- Higher print project setup costs.
- The longer time frame of the first print set up.
- Labor Extensive Process.
- Require more skill and experience.
Digital printing technology involves digital devices (computer, laptop, tablet), digital printers, design software, ink (liquid, toner & solid ink), rip software, and technical knowledge of the software, and it’s a fully automated process. Enhanced technology-oriented and skilled manpower printing solutions. Printing of different types of media requires different types of software-loaded digital printing machines.
- Digital Press for Printing Bulk Printing on Paper
- DTG, DTF, and Sublimation Printer for Digital Printing on Garment
- Large Format Digital Printer for Banner Printing
- Flat UV Printer (Desktop & Commercial) for Printing on Thick Sheet
- 3D Printer for Product Manufacturing
- Digital Transfer Machine
- Embroidery Digitaization
These printers’ print heads are compatible with (liquid, powder, and solid ink). Digital printing involves digital file creation, setting color calibration & load media, and hitting the print button for production.
- Considering as fast as hand to hand printing technology,
- First print up set cost zero.
- Variable data printing.
- Low cost of manpower.
- Business setup requires limited space and manpower.
- No required more experience and skill
Like every business, each type of printing has its own pros & cons.
- Print per unit cost is high.
- Unique and antique print can’t be produced.
Which Printing Technology Traditional or Digital is the Best?
Traditional or digital printing, both printing methods are best. It depends on your print project and types of requirements & budget. In simple words, traditional printing costs low per unit for bulk production.
Digital Printing is faster but the print price per unit costs are high.
Types of Printing Technology?
There are mainly 6 types of printing technology, used in daily life.
2. Digital Printing
3. Screen Printing
4. Block Printing
5. Gravure Printing
6. Flexo Printing