Happy Wedding Wednesday!
Today we are discussing the most common printing method available—digital printing!
How it’s done
Digital printing is created when percentages of 4 ink colours are dropped together onto a piece of media to create the colours that we see. Yes, the colours we print are actually created of tiny dots of multiple colours!
The colours that we use are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. If these colours sound familiar to you, it’s because you have probably needed to go out and fill up your home printer with these colour inks.
Digital print can be created by both an inkjet, or a laser printer. Inkjet inks are a liquid, but laser inks are actually a powder called toner. No matter the substrate, Digital printers use the same colour breakdowns to create the colours we see.
Each printer takes the colour we see and breaks it into percentages of each Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks. So when you see C=100 M=0 Y=0 K=0, this means that 100% of cyan is being added to the paper, and none of the other colours. Likewise you can have a breakdown like C=100 M=90 Y=0 B=30. This means that 100% of the cyan is being added, 90% of magenta and 30% of black. Going back to colour painting when we were kids, we know that mixing blue and pink together will create a purple. Because there is more cyan than magenta, it will lean more towards the blue side of the spectrum. The black is added to deepen the colour, making it darker.
Likewise, if we look at the combination of C=0 M=60 Y=100 B=0, we know that we will be mixing 100% yellow with 60% magenta. This will produce an orange colour.
Why Digital print?
Because it’s the most common print type, it tends to be the most cost effective. Unlike foil or letterpress methods, there is little to no other setup required besides the base printer, ink and file.
Digital printing is also a great method for printing on all kinds of papers. It’s important to match printer with the perfect paper type, but you can produce rich, vibrant colours.
It is also the quickest print method. Because it does not require addition items or setup, you just need to wait for the print and drying time, and the job is complete!
There are some limitations that come with digital print. We talked about some relating to textures and certain paper types on our blog a few weeks ago but there are a few others that we need to discuss.
Inks are transparent, and therefore the media colour that the design will be printed on will influence visabliltiy. For example, if you print dark text on a dark paper, it will not be visible. Likewise, if you print a pink on a green stock, the pink will start to take on green hues. This is important to note. Work with your stationer to discuss potential colour shifts with paper colours.
Another important thing to remember with the transparent properties of inks, printing on clear substrates will cause the inked areas to be coloured, yet see-through.
Standard laser/inkget digital print works best on paper or other media that is approved for the specific printer type. Otherwise you may get smearing, paper jams or other issues.
Any other questions?
We love digital print, so, we love answering questions regarding digital print. Do you have a question that we can answer?