Press versus Copier. Do you know the difference? When a printer says that your job will be printed digitally, it’s just a fancy term that means it’s printed on a copier.

An important question to ask anyone providing a quote is whether the job is printed or copied. Colour copiers are consistently being improved and the quality is very good, however, I am yet to see a copier on the market that matches the quality of lithographic printing (with the exception of the HP Indigo which costs around half a million bucks). Many of our clients are surprised when I show them the difference.

The lower quality prints from copiers is usually due to the difference between toner and ink. Most people don’t know the difference but we can tell straight away. The weather can even effect the quality of digital printing. Many times, we’ve delayed printing a digital order until the rain stopped.

The four main issues with copying are:

1. Photos can look overly bright and unrealistic.
2. The image position on the sheet can move between copies (this is called por registration).
3. Toner can fade over time or bleed on the sheet.
4. The heating process of a copier can warp the sheet.

Digital printing has progressed significantly over the past five years, but there’s still a long way to go. We have a good copier at Simply Print, but we only use it for smaller quantities, and we always explain the difference in quality to clients. It’s all about choosing the correct method for each job, and we can help with that choice. To avoid disappointment always ask the question. Will my job be printed on a press or a copier?

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