The great advantage of digital printing is that it takes far less time than traditional printing methods. If you suddenly need new business cards for a meeting this afternoon, or you simply have to have your presentation printed out for a last minute client meeting, or maybe you’ve run out of training manuals to hand out at a class this evening, it’s the digital printer who will save you.
A digital press doesn’t require most of the preparation that’s needed for a traditional litho press: plates don’t have to be created, rollers don’t need to be inked, there’s no checking for registration or positioning, and you don’t have to wait hours for ink to dry. But the name ‘digital printing’ refers to a wide range of printing equipment: from a two hundred thousand pounds (sterling) Indigo press, to a fifty pounds (sterling) Hewlett-Packard desktop printer – both are digital and both are printers, but the quality and cost are very different.
Unfortunately, many people haven’t yet realised that there is such a huge variety available. If the printer you turn to only uses high end Indigo presses, then your printing will always be great quality but could be costly. And if you always turn to your local copy shop for your digital printing you may end up with low cost, low quality desktop print outs. digital printing pouch
If you are trying to choose the best digital printer for your business cards, or anything else for that matter, these are likely to be your three main options:
Indigo Digital Press
The big Kahuna when it comes to digital printing, Indigo is the world leader in digital commercial presses. Taken over by Hewlett-Packard in 2001, Indigo was a forerunner in the early digital printing market, and the name is synonymous with high quality, but relatively high priced digital printing.
Konica Minolta Digital Printers
Representing the medium range – in cost but not necessarily in quality! Konica Minolta’s ‘Magicolor’ series high performance colour laser printers are renowned for their high quality output. Possibly the best value option, when it comes to digital printing, Konica Minolta are low cost, good quality and provide a fast turnaround when you need your training manual, presentation or business cards printed today!
Desktop Printers and copiers
Every business has at least one desktop printer, and most homes do too. What many people don’t realise is that when they go to the local copy shop and ask for their business cards to be printed, the copy shop might well be using something similar to what is used in many offices and homes. This might be called digital printing but it is not in the same league as Konica Minolta or Indigo presses and for most business needs, this is a poor choice.
When you need some fast but good quality printing done, don’t just ask for digital printing – ask what equipment your printers are using. Make sure that the equipment is suitable for your requirements, both in terms of cost and quality. And ideally, find a printer who offers the high end and medium range options and discuss the merits of both.