With digital printing, it is possible to print an entire 200 page book all at once rather than printing individual signatures, that must be gathered with other previously printed signatures to compile a whole book. Combined with a whole new class of digital bindery equipment, it is now very easy and practical to produce short run paper back, hard cover, wire o and spiral bound books in black and white and/or in full color.
The digital print world tends to be dominated by equipment made by a few very large companies; HP, Kodak, Fuji/Xerox, Konica/Minolta are some of the best known equipment brands in the U.S.. After weighing all of our choices, we have made a significant investment into Xerox 700 high speed digital printers.
Here are a few reasons why we buy Xerox 700 printers:
Exceptional image quality. One of the few technologies that has true 2400 dpi resolution with the ability to print 200 line per inch halftone dot which matches the output of our offset printing presses.
Embedding fuser oil into the toner. The toner particles on our Xerox 700's are so fine that they feel like corn starch. there is no build up on the sheet that gives a copier look and there is no streaking from the application of fuser oil to the sheet because the fuser oil is embedded in the individual toner particles. The gloss of the toner is very similar to the gloss of our offset printing when applying our semi-gloss coating. The image has exceptional durability giving it a rub resistance that is better than offset printing.
The EA toner can be fused to a sheet of paper with less energy use than any other digital printer on the market, making it the greenest solution currently available.
Flexible Paper Stocks. Unlike many digital presses, our Xerox 700's are not finicky. They will print on a wide array of stocks including inexpensive offset grades of paper that do not need any special surface treatments to accept toner saving money on your print runs.
Most jobs are indistinguishable when printing offset vs. digital but each process has strengths and weaknesses:
- Digital Printing has a wider color gamut than offset printing reproducing a broader set of colors than conventional offset presses using full color process.
- Toner sits up on top of the sheet regardless of whether the paper is coated or uncoated. Offset printing inks have a very different color gamut when printed on a pourous surface compared to a sealed surface such as a coated paper.
- Lighter even screen builds can sometimes look gritty on a digital press that lacks to consistency of printing with offset print plates.
- Toner is relatively more expensive than ink and so while inexpensive to begin with, as you get up to 1,000 copies or more printed digitally then the price advantage associated with the lower set up cost is offset by the higher material costs.
A few years ago, it was a trade off...offset printing for quality...digital for inexpensive short run jobs. The two processes are so similar today that for every job that prints a little nicer on an offset press, there is another design that actually looks better using digital presses.
One of the best features of digital printing is how easy it is to produce a copy to test the output. If you are not sure if digital is right for your next project, come by and look at some of our print samples or better yet, give us a file and we can print out a test for you.