Technology has not only transformed the way we live our lives, but it has also changed the way we print. Case in point: Digital printing.
As the Xerox website explains, “Digital printing offers numerous advantages over traditional analog printing methods – such as offset printing – because digital printing machines do not require printing plates. Instead of using metal plates to transfer an image, digital printing presses print the image directly onto the media substrate.
“Digital production print technology is evolving quickly, and digital printing output quality is improving continuously. These advancements are delivering print quality that mimics offset.”
Digital printing provides the following advantages:
- Personalized, variable data printing (VDP) – This allows such marketing materials as mailers to be personalized with the recipient’s name and other individualized information.
- Cost-effective short runs
- Fast turnarounds
- Consistency – Every print is the same, due to not having to balance ink and water during the press run.
- Environmentally friendly – As there are no pre-press stages, there is no need for film plates or photo chemicals.
What to look for in a digital printing company?
To get the best service and highest possible quality from a digital printing company, do your homework before making your choice. Here is what you need to look for in a digital printing company:
Check the quality they offer and deliver; research their professional reputation – Ask to see physical examples of the print company’s work – not just examples on their website. Read customer reviews and the printer’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to get an idea of their quality, reliability, etc. Also check their Better Business Bureau rating.
Check their customer service – Be sure you have good communication with the company’s owner or manager. As Canada Print Services advises, “It is vital that they should be trustworthy, professional and responsive. They should be able to take care of your account from start to finish seamlessly and efficiently. Good communication and troubleshooting skills are very important, as well. The company you choose should be able to work well with you. They should know how to listen and cater to your needs. The last thing you need is working with a digital printing company that will make decisions without your consent.”
Pricing is also important – Get a good quality-to-value ratio. Know what competitive rates in your geographic location are. While you don’t want to overpay, choosing the lowest bid may result in poor-quality results.
How can digital printing help your brand?
Digital printing can help your brand get personal and drive revenue, especially for magazine publishers. Digital publishing has revolutionized book publishing, created new forms of direct mail, and allows you to do targeted promotions. Here is what digital printing can do for magazine publishers:
Inkjet messaging – As mentioned earlier, digital printing allows you to get personal. In the United States, most magazine copies are personalized with the help of digital printing technology that allows them to inkjet each copy with the recipient’s name and mailing address. It does not cost you much to add additional inkjet messaging to the cover. It opens up a variety of messaging options for magazines that can be used to drive home their point.
Programmatic direct mail – Programmatic direct mail is a fast-growing marketing approach that announces the kind of content magazine publishers create. Programmatic direct mail is a method that is used to identify website visitors (also prospective buyers) based on their activities – such as clicks, searches and cart abandonment. Taking physical mailing addresses from the databases that link online identities, a customized mailing is digitally printed and mailed to the prospect. The mailer could be a mini catalog or a postcard.
Customized cover wraps – Sponsored or customized cover wraps can help magazines reach highly targeted audiences. For example, copies sent to the waiting room of an ear, nose and throat practice (ENT) can carry a promotional cover wrap of a hearing-aid brand. The cover wraps can also be customized to the extent that it lists the names of dealers nearby.
Print-on-Demand – With digital printing, publishers don’t need to worry about running short of copies. That is the reason why publishers of late have cut down on the number of “just in case” copies. In case of shortage, publishers can switch to digital printing and print the copy in time. It allows the publishers to save money because they don’t have to print extra copies, and they don’t need extra storage space.
The future of digital printing
So, what is the future of digital printing?
The global digital print market in 2013 was estimated to be over 120 billion USD. And, the global digital printing market is expected to reach over 225% of its total 2013 industry value by 2024. The growth in the digital printing market is phenomenal and steady. Here are some of the emerging trends in the digital print industry:
Service improvements – The biggest reason the digital print market is seeing major growth is its ability to offer superior service. Also, it allows businesses to increase their profit margins and opens up new opportunities. Digital printing has also taken personalization and versioning to the next level, which is extremely important in today’s competitive environment. Further, it allows businesses to reach their target audience more effectively. Also, the maturation of Big Data with technology allows businesses to find new pools of valued clientele. Digital printing is also expected to be widely used for packaging and labels.
Inkjet is set to overtake electrophotography – The biggest contributor to the digital print market will be electrophotography, according to a report by Smithers Pira. But inkjet will be the fastest-growing sector in the years to come. Inkjet is set to overtake electrophotography soon, and by 2024, it is expected to account for 53% of the digital print volume and 56% of the total value.
The print packaging sector will experience growth – Digital production techniques are likely to focus on metal, cartons, rigid, and corrugated structures in the years to come. The printed packaging sector is set to see significant growth, both in terms of volume and value in the future.
If you are looking for a digital printing services company, DocuServe has been in the digital printing business since 1994, and we can assure you of delivering high-quality at reasonable rates. From training manuals to catalogs and books, contact us for all your digital printing needs.