If you want to make the final result of your project stand out, getting the right printing can make all the difference. Normally, when you are at a professional printing company, you will be asked to choose between two different types of processes: digital and offset lithography (or litho) printing. The printing process that you choose will impact the finished product and the budget, timeframe, and quality of your order. If you have no idea about the differences between these two printing processes or what they might entail, continue reading this blog post.

What is the Difference Between Litho and Digital Printing?

Both litho and digital printing have their own advantages to offer, and each process is catered to many different jobs and applications. Digital printing uses inks and a press, one that looks like a large office printer. On the other hand, lithographic printing relies on wet ink and printing plates. An image will be burned into these plates, and then transferred or offset onto rubber blankets, and subsequently applied onto the printing surface. You will find more detailed information about the difference between the two printing processes below:


Since litho printing requires more time and money to set up, it is used for the purpose of conducting longer print runs. The unit cost will also decrease as the quantity increases, which is great for high volume runs. Digital printing is more convenient for shorter runs and one off prints.

Paper stock

Despite the fact that digital printers have capabilities of their own that are always increasing, a greater variety of mediums can be printed on through using the litho process. You do not have to worry about being limited to strictly using paper either. Litho printing is used to print on various surfaces, like wood, metal and plastic, for example. For that reason, if you need to print onto light or thick paper or a different kind of material, litho printing would be the best choice.


The size that you choose is very important when it comes to printing. In the case of digital printing, the smaller sheet size that is used will often limit the maximum size of a document being printed. In addition, SRA3 is the largest paper size for a digital printing press. However, for a lithographic printing press, it might be either B1 or B2.


In comparison to digital printing, litho printing will require more time. If you are dealing with a tight deadline or are in a rush, digital might be the best option for you.


Another important part of the printing process is to make sure that certain letters are dotted or crossed, everything is properly aligned, and colours are accurate. Digital printing provides an actual example of the printed proof, giving a better idea of the finished product. Litho requires getting wet proofs, which can be costly. This is because the plates need to be created before the proof.


After your lithographic plates are made, you will need to customize the content of your order. This process will probably involve restarting the entire process and remaking new plates. Although, if you are using digital instead, you will only need to make a few adjustments to the file on your desktop.

Both processes offer high-quality results, but the type of printing you ultimately choose depends on your own specific needs. To find out more, visit us at Lamin-8! We offer a wide array of printing and laminating solutions for your specific business needs. We work with a range of commercial & retail customers to meet their printing, mounting, and finishing requirements, such as commercial printers, graphic designers, architect services, schools and students, document service centers, commercial graphics & image service providers, professional photographers, and artists and galleries. Our team of printing and laminating services specialists would be more than happy to assist you. Call us at (416) 977-4422, and we will bring your photos to life.