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Weaknesses of traditional offset printing
Traditional printing involves a lot of work phases (imagesetting, plate production, washing, tuning, etc.) that must be done (and paid) whether you buy one copy or ten thousand. A separate task is to collate the sheets and if there are serious errors, you basically have to start the process all over again.
Weaknesses of office printing
There are many computer printers today that produce close to photo quality - but at a very high cost and low production capacity. You also need special paper. On the other hand, those devices (departmental printers) that can print a large quantity, are usually much behind real digital presses in terms of color gamut, shades or the ability to be calibrated. Usually your choice of paper is limited, too... who would not recognize those cheap namecards printed at the mall?
Benefits of digital printing
Digital printing offers a convenient and ideal solution for many jobs. It is possible to print personalized jobs quickly and flexibly, cost-effectively even at short runs, with a foreseeable cost. You don not have to order more copies than you need and do not have to pollute the environment just because a telephone number has changed. When you see the first printed copy of the final product, it is still possible to modify the job without horrible costs incurred. It is no problem to create one-off versions of the usual material. The materials you can print on is wider than with laser printers and the printing quality can be managed very strictly. Because of the technology, you do not have to live together with parts that started to wear out (e.g. a scratched roll); they can be replaced at once.
What should I NOT use digital presses for?
Digital presses either use only black or four colors. You cannot print spot colors (like gold). Long runs are cheaper to print on offset machines. In case of extra large sizes and outdoor usage, you need special poster printers. You cannot use certain materials (cardboard, too "creative" papers, heat-sensitive material).