28 Aug 2018


The evolution of computers is called digital printing and it has entered a golden age of possibility. With advancements in technologies, changes in the marketplace, and increasingly innovative applications, digital printing has established its place as a complement to traditional printing methods.

In the 1400’s when Gutenberg developed the first printing press it was slow and expensive to print anything, people were clamouring for a way to quickly and inexpensively produce short-run printed material. The ability to print four-colour short-run material was next to impossible to do before the merging of old technology, the printing press, and new technology, computers, created a new and exciting area of printing,

Digital Printing Technology has caused a paradigm shift in the printing world; making the impossible possible. It brought with it the exact solution that many print customers needed and offered a viable printing option that now the industry wouldn’t dream of doing without, more colors to choose from than ever before and with such a rich color palette, companies and individuals alike can now create a truly personalized image that reflects their brand or simply an image that is a true personification of a loved one

Today, the world of digital printing is open to everyone, from the individual at home who wants to print photographs, right through to top corporations as overall print quality has improved, the printing have also become much clearer and the print quality is not altered due to a fast print speed when you need bulk items printed incredibly quickly.

One of the next frontiers of digital printing is packaging, whether its new substrates, inks, or foils, digital printing devices which are exploring these new possibilities, designing it and running all the art designs that people prefer, there are certain substrates and vertical markets where toner is better suited than inkjet due to the package

Technological advances and application-driven requirements drive developments in the wide-format digital printing market. Inkjet Technology for instance is coming into its own as a player in the digital sphere. Printheads used to only be capable of low resolution printing at an extremely slow pace but today, printheads can print 1200 dpi native resolutions and speeds are greater than 100 kHz (kilohertz), so they absolutely rival offset printing in both quality and speed.

People are not just printing the old traditional things like labels and flat sheets, they’re trying to progress the technology directly by printing on three dimensional objects (3D) where you see graphics applied directly to an article or package instead of on a label, and it is being decorated digitally. Brand owners love it. The ability to think outside the box and make the entire package, bottle, box or container be printable graphics results in a completely new type of marketing environment.

Digital printing technologies give the designer more options of substrates to print on due to its non-contact printing. This eliminates the distortion of images that occurs in analogue process, like screen printing. It also requires less harsh methods of holding the substrate in the press, thereby giving more options of substrates. This means that substrates such as fabrics, very thin paper, and even ceramics can be safely printed on offering the customer more choices in designing.

The market is driving the desire for digital printing and therefore pushing its development and adoption. As a result of this improved technology, photographic images can now be printed onto canvas, cloth, and ceramics, all about customization and direct-to-fabric printing technology – from the prints and colors we wear, to indeed the size and shape that best suits us, a bit of artificial intelligence and some robotics on the end

Digital printing best serves the demand for: variable data printing, personalisation, customisation, less spoilage, faster proof cycle, smaller archival storage, quick response, just-in-time delivery, and short to medium print runs. While printers are still employing analogue print methods they have the ability, with digital printing, to offer their customers more options and provide better service.

Whether it is decorative embellishments for packaging, the advancements being made in print technology or the new unprecedented applications for digitally printed objects the next five years look exciting because digital printing seems by far the ideal printing solution for everyone. It is more advanced than that of lithographic printing and is a far easier way to print images of your choosing. You can print an image, text or just about anything else onto a variety of different surfaces and finishes. This includes ceramics, metallic and printing onto canvas etc.



Article by Blessing Bassey

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