“I need 1000 business cards, full colour both sides, printing for this afternoon”….10 years ago you would have been laughed at and told to wait the usual 2 weeks like everyone else. But nowadays with changing technology, the impossible is becoming possible, and the print industry is reacting to print on demand.
In years gone by, when setting up a new business people would order their stationery sets in the thousands. 5000 business cards, 5000 compliment slips, 10,000 letterheads, as the setup costs of lithographic print were so high, you may as well ‘print-for-life’. So company stationery cupboards would be full of creased and squashed boxes of stationery, their company office shelves would be crammed full of dusty boxes of stationery, and their company garages stacked high with damp un-useable boxes of stationery.
In 2005, digital printing accounted for approximately 9% of the 45 trillion pages printed around the world. The first digital print press was seen as a print press that didn’t require film, plates or a large print house to be kept……..and the quality was very, very good. Since then the Xerox iGen3, Kodak Nexpress and the HP Indigo Digital Press series are the industry leaders in digital printing, and offering a print on demand service that could spell the end to traditional lithographic printing. No longer did you have to order 5000 business cards, but you could have 5, 50 or 500 business cards, all with a different logo or name on.
Digital printing was seen as the ideal marketing tool – mailshots, direct marketing, newsletters and company letters were running the digital presses day and night, each sheet with a generic message for its end user.
So, will digital print mean the end to lithographic print presses? It depends who you ask. It starts a similar argument to the “should I buy a PC or a Mac”….both have their place in life but work equally well alongside each other.
Pure Design International work with some of the industry’s leading digital printers in France and the UK, and can offer any print solution you require, from a personalised mailshot to a direct marketing campaign. We also have close relationships with some of the most respected lithographic printers in the UK, France and Europe.
Editor’s Note: (but yes, buy a Mac).