What is full-colour digital printing?

Digital Printing

What is full-colour digital printing?

Full-colour printing basically refers to any printing process that is capable of producing a printed image of photographic quality. The term ‘full-colour’ is used because the aim is to reproduce the full range of colours in the visible spectrum.

As a full colour image is printed using four colours typically and as the finished colours are affected by what they are printed on – paper, plastic, cotton, metal and so on – there can be a degree of difference sometimes.

Despite the physical limitations of the printing processes, the resultant printed image looks very colourful and is an accurate representation of the original logo, picture or design.

The term ‘digital printing’ refers to any printing process that recreates a digital image, which has been stored electronically from a camera, memory stick or another device.

This means that there are no printing plates or screens used in the process and the image is created using a large number of varying size dots of ink that join together to create the image.

Because digital inks are not as dense as conventional printing inks, it is generally necessary when printing onto dark materials to print white first as an undercoat for the following colours.

Advantages of full colour digital printing

  1. Cost-effective for short runs as no printing screens or plates are required.
  2. Precise registration of colours
  3. Fine detail can be achieved
  4. Can print on an uneven surface
  5. Photographic images can be reproduced at low cost.

Can only print directly on to a flat or slightly curved surface.
Colours are very bright but are not guaranteed to match Pantone colour references exactly.

Artwork for digital printing
If artwork is photographic or contains tints and tones, gradients, shades of the same colour or a large number of colours, then digital print will be required.

It is often necessary to adapt artwork to fit products exactly and so files should ideally be supplied in an editable form, and that would typically be a pdf file or eps file. Low resolution jpgs generally are not suitable.

Contact us if you require any help at all on artwork – we know it can be a headache.

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