Myth busting – ‘colour printing is only possible with litho printing’

Publishers have a set of challenges within a dynamic, ever-changing industry. Quality and competitive pricing have set the bar in terms of what needs to be deliverable. Typically, most books that you will purchase today are often printed using off-set printing.

Historically, litho printing is seen to be the best in print colour quality, however, the print industry has moved on since this perception was created and yet the myth of litho being the best and only choice for publishers wishing to use colour still prevails. Which is why the team at Printondemand-worldwide are keen to start some myth busting: colour printing isn’t only possible with litho printing!

Litho & Digital

The main difference with litho and digital is physical, litho uses wet ink and printing plates, whilst digital uses toners, and inkjet deposits liquid droplets. With digital printing no printing plates are required and there is less waste of chemicals and paper, which keep running costs lower.

Common myths

  1. With litho, the ink soaks into the paper more. With digital it sits on the surface. So litho is best for quality on all
  2. Digital printing will have a matt appearance. If you see a really glossy leaflet it will have been printed using litho.
  3. Litho makes it easier to print on textured paper, and printing on coloured paper.

Expelling the myths with our Screen HD Inkjet Press using SC ink

Screen Truepress Jet520HD is the world’s first inkjet printer using specially developed SC inks to print on litho paper.

We invested in this printer because it was designed for high-quality colour.  With SC inks we can print directly on to the paper, which preserves its texture. Says, Andy Cork;

“The HD press combined with the SC inks was the turning point in getting Printondemand-worldwide to shift from a toner-first to an inkjet-first company. The ability to print directly onto offset coated paper, without the need for pre-treatment or expensive bonding agents means we can meet our customer’s quality expectations whilst making a margin”.

The competitive pricing against traditional print methods, combined with the ability to print books according to demand – so no storage is needed, means that this is an affordable option that produces the quality expected.

Expelling the myths:

  • SC inks produce consistent quality without constantly cleaning heads
  • You can achieve the colours, textures, details and solid ink areas expected from high-end publication work
  • Screen Truepress HD printer can produce up to 30 million pages a month. A significant feature is that it’s object-oriented halftoning intelligently and automatically selects the appropriate line screen for jobs with a mix of images and heavy text.
  • Screenhas long been one of the key players in the industry.

Director Andy Cork adds,

“Screen is the industry’s biggest secret! Whether it’s a litho first-print or a POD reprint, there’s minimal difference in quality. The speed and the impressive uptime of the press means we can produce in excess of 4000 books in a shift, even with our average run-length of 1.75 books, with a focus to deliver them same-day/next day depending on the product line.”

Want to see the quality of our colour inkjet printing for yourself? Order your free Sample Book here.