Recently I was dragged along to a digital printing expo, something that originally I was not looking forward to. But the boss wanted me to be there and I never argue with a day out of the office so I cleared my calendar, filled up my coffee thermos and out I went.
If you do not know what digital printing is, it is any method of printing that puts the ink or toner directly on the page without using a printing plate or lithograph or anything like that. In other words, the laser printer or inkjet printer in your office or home are both examples of digital printing. Personal use and normal office use printers like these were certainly a feature at the expo with all sorts of new models and features being shown off.
However often when we talk about digital printing we mean using digital printing technology to print large runs of something, such as publishing a book or similar. In this sense digital printing is a rising star. Technically the cost of printing is still higher per page than traditional offset printing. However, digital offers a number of advantages such as being able to have each copy be slightly different or do very small runs at low cost. Since you are not making printing plates for each page it is just as cheap to do 20 copies as 5,000.
I learned a lot at the expo, especially about all the different applications for digital printing. By using this technology and printing on glass or plexiglass you can make elegant signs very cheaply. By printing on cloth you can make amazing fabrics or quality art prints. I never would have guessed this technology was so versatile if I had not gone to the digital printing expo.