Digital printing: The method that saves money

Digital printing is a modernisation of the printing process.

The traditional method, known as offset printing, utilizes printing plates and requires long setup processes and while it performs its role effectively. Shapco explains it well:

“Offset printing is the older of the two methods and involves a plate on which the material to be printed is engraved, which is transferred with ink onto a rubber blanket, then to the material which it has to be printed on. Digital printing, on the other hand, skips the plate entirely and directly prints onto the material.”

For that reason, modernised printing offers numerous benefits to both printing companies and businesses who are printing labels.


Naturally, because digital printing requires minimal setup work, it is more cost-effective. If plates need to be prepared for a print, it is only cost-effective to print on a large-scale or in bulk. This means consumers need to commit to a massive printing job. Digital printing is fast and versatile. Digital also means you can print any quantity at a reduced cost.


Digitizing printing allows you to print a few tests – you’re not restricted by the tedious setup process. This gives you the opportunity to see if your colours match, if the clarity is all there, and if your overall end product is satisfactory. If something is off, you can tweak it and retry. Once you’re happy with it, you can commit to your full number of prints, knowing exactly what to expect.


Lithographic printing has been the leader in quality printing up until now, but digital printing is gearing towards matching it. Digital printing, in some cases, can give 95% Pantone colour match on the end product versus the image. This is considered excellent.


Digital printing improves the feasibility of printing in small quantities. That means you can print as necessary, on demand. The improved flexibility, the lowered cost, and faster setup give businesses the opportunity to customise their labels to a greater degree. It is now possible to subdivide labels into marketing target groups and change colour schemes or wording to better appeal to particular niches.

Reduced carbon footprint

The setup procedures and printing process of plated printers are long and arduous. It requires more resources. Digital printing takes place thanks to a number of clicks and processes facilitated on a computer. This reduces the carbon footprint associated with printing. If you want to start embracing greener habits in the workplace, switching to digital printing is going to help enormously.

Improved turnaround time

Click your mouse and the printing takes place. It’s instantaneous. We all know that in business, time is money. Printing jobs that are faster help businesses commence with their packaging faster. Need a reprint? You can do several rounds of digital printing faster than one set of prints through a plated press.

The advantages of digital printing outweigh the disadvantages

While we have focused on the advantages of digital printing, there are also disadvantages. The quality of digital printing is slowly creeping up on traditional printing. At this point, flexographic printing offers superior quality as a standard. You can source the same quality in the digital sphere by using the latest equipment, but flexographic printing will offer crystal clear quality every time. That said, you can’t beat the flexibility, the cost-effectiveness, or the fast and breezy process of digital printing. It turns the printing process into a simple task, from being a complicated and laborious process.

First Impression Labels offer flexographic printing. We have seen many businesses making the switch and enjoying the benefits. We have also seen some businesses choose to stay with the reliable old methods, which we fully support, too. For a quote, please contact us: 031 702 0404