How to choose my paper: digital printing, offset, serigraphy, flexographic? For what type of support do I opt: paper or plastic, in sheets or reels?
If you have not brought up yet suitable method of printing, is the time to learn a bit about the advantages of printing systems. Some works can be printed in several ways but is advantageous to choose the method that suits you to get the maximum profit in quality and price.
Digital printing in small and medium-sized sheets (32 x 45 cm and 50 x 70 cm) is designed for small circulations, of maximum 100-150 printed copies or sheets of A3 + (32 x 45 cm); It is also indicated, if you want to personalize each copy (each with a different name for example). But there are strict limitations that it entails, from format, to the inability to use special colors, from pantone range; also digital printing uses a lower range of papers and cardboards.
Digital printing in medium-sized coil, with a width of 50 cm is a rarity but you know that there is. Basically we can print in full color (CMYK) two-sided while the gross width 50 cm (48 cm finished) and several meters in length (coil length), posters or displays, at quality almost identical with the offset pattern on paper and cardboard offset and double-coated between 60-350 g / m².
Large digital printing, on plotter, it’s executed on paper in roll widths generally between 1 m and over 2 m. It applies to works of large dimensions especially for outdoor or billboards and posters, presentation boards. Printing on roll paper or plastic, theoretical length is limited by the length of the roll.
Offset printing or otherwise, the classic pattern is for the great majority of printing works. It remains the most powerful system multiplication on paper and cardboard and also the most faithful in color reproduction. Starting from a circulation of 100-150 sheets up is also the most economical way of printing.
Up to a circulation of about 50,000 copies (eg brochures) competitive is the offset printing in sheet, and over this circulation becomes more convenient the offset printing in coil, the so-called rotary machines.
Some works even in small circulations must be printed offset not digitaly, due to current equipment limits of these machines appeared in the 90s. Most digital machines can not print cardboards over 300-320 g / sq m, can not print with Pantone inks and fail when you print large areas with light colors. In this cases they reveal their limits, unable to print the rasters uniform, generating visible streaks by fluctuations in intensity of the ink.
Serigraphy printing is suitable for plastics supports in flexible sheets or rigid boards, but also for selective varnishing on paper and cardboard, in small and medium print circulations.
The flexographic is for plastic supports with delivery coil, and large circulations of at least 20,000 copies.
Printing on plastic is more expensive than paper and cardboard because of the support, on one hand, but also the labor that implies. Plastic is indicated when the work will arrive in wet environment, outdoor exposures with increased risk of degradation. Even the protected paper by laminating deteriorate on contact with water, the edges deforming.