Lithographic Printing and Digital Printing Compared!

If you have any questions or would like a quotation on anything that you read below, we’re here to help.

Printing Process

Have you ever wondered about the differences between lithographic printing and digital printing? When it comes to printing options, understanding these two methods can help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs. In this blog post, we will explore the characteristics, advantages, and applications of both lithographic printing and digital printing. Let’s delve into the world of printing technologies to demystify the key differences between these two popular methods.

Understanding Lithographic Printing

Lithographic printing, commonly referred to as litho printing, is a traditional printing technique that has been widely used for decades. Here’s how it works:

  • Plate Preparation: In lithographic printing, an aluminium plate is coated with a photosensitive emulsion, which is then exposed to UV light through a film negative of the artwork. This process creates a printing plate with the image to be printed.
  • Ink and Water: The printing plate is mounted on a printing press, where it is treated with a solution that attracts ink to the image areas and repels it from the non-image areas. This is based on the principle that oil-based inks and water do not mix.
  • Printing Process: The ink is transferred from the plate onto a rubber blanket and then onto the paper or other printing material. This indirect transfer ensures precise and consistent ink application. Lithographic printing is known for its exceptional image quality and color accuracy.

Digital Printing: A Modern Printing Solution

Digital printing, on the other hand, is a modern printing method that has gained popularity in recent years. Here’s how it differs from lithographic printing:

  • Direct Printing: Digital printing eliminates the need for plates. Instead, the artwork is directly transferred from a digital file onto the printing material using electrostatic or inkjet technology. This means that each printed piece can be customized without the need for time-consuming setup changes.
  • Quick Turnaround: Digital printing offers a significant advantage in terms of speed. Since there are no plates to prepare, the setup time is minimal, making it ideal for short print runs or on-demand printing.
  • Variable Data Printing: One of the key benefits of digital printing is its ability to handle variable data. This means that each printed piece can be personalized with unique text, images, or other content. It’s an excellent option for direct mail campaigns, personalized marketing materials, or customized invitations.

Choosing the Right Method for Your Needs

Now that we have a better understanding of the differences between lithographic printing and digital printing, how do you choose the right method for your needs? Here are some considerations:

  • Quantity: If you require a large print run, lithographic printing becomes more cost-effective due to economies of scale. However, for shorter print runs or variable data printing, digital printing offers flexibility and cost-efficiency.
  • Turnaround Time: If you have a tight deadline and need your printed materials quickly, digital printing is the way to go. With its minimal setup time, digital printing ensures a faster turnaround.
  • Print Quality: While both lithographic printing and digital printing produce high-quality results, lithographic printing often provides more accurate colour reproduction, making it a preferred choice for projects that demand precise color matching.
  • Customization: If personalization and variable data printing are essential to your project, digital printing offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing you to tailor each piece to your target audience.


In summary, lithographic printing and digital printing offer distinct advantages depending on your printing requirements. Lithographic printing provides exceptional colour accuracy and is cost-effective for large print runs, while digital printing offers quick turnaround times, customization options, and cost-efficiency for shorter print runs or variable data printing. Understanding these differences will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your printing needs are met with precision and efficiency.

At Newstyle Print, we offer both lithographic printing and digital printing services to cater to a wide range of printing needs. Whether you’re looking for high-quality colour reproduction or personalized marketing materials, our team of experts can guide you in choosing the right printing method for your specific project.

Remember, no matter which printing method you choose, Newstyle Print is committed to delivering top-notch print quality, excellent customer service, and timely delivery. Contact us today to discuss your printing requirements and let us bring your vision to life with our exceptional printing solutions.

In conclusion, understanding the differences between lithographic printing and digital printing empowers you to make an informed decision based on your unique needs. While lithographic printing offers precise colour accuracy and cost-effectiveness for larger print runs, digital printing provides quick turnaround times, customization options, and cost-efficiency for shorter print runs or projects requiring variable data printing. Choose the printing method that aligns with your goals and partner with Newstyle Print for outstanding results that leave a lasting impression.

Contact us today and experience the quality and expertise that sets Newstyle Print apart as your trusted printing partner.

Thank you for investing your time to read our blog post. At Newstyle Print, we’re passionate about sharing insights from our years of experience in the print industry. We have a wealth of other blog posts teeming with tips and advice, so why not have a browse below?

Whether you’re in need of feather flags, banners, or unique promotional materials, our team is dedicated to helping your business shine. Ready to embark on your print journey? Simply fill out the form to your right with your requirements. One of our print specialists will promptly be in touch to discuss how we can bring your vision to life. If you’d prefer a chat, feel free to call us for FREE on 0800 024 8892 (Mon-Friday 9am – 5pm). Let’s start creating something extraordinary together!

What can we print for you?

Most quote requests are returned within 2 hours*