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Diversity ArtWorks!

Digital Printing

The 'digital' process is toner-based and is commonly known as 'print-on-demand' or 'on-demand-printing.' The digital printing set-up can range greatly in size, quality and complexity.

The Process: Using a finely-focused beam of light (laser), high-speed laser printing exposes the artwork to photosensitive material located on a drum or belt. Very fine, electrically-charged toner is attracted to the image on the drum/belt which possesses an opposite charge. This attraction acts like a temporary ‘glue’ (similar to static electricity). The toner particles are then transferred to the paper and fused to it with heat and/or pressure. This process occurs four times - one pass for each color (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). Equipment can vary greatly: some models have four toner and developer units on a rotating wheel, while others add all four colors to a plate before placing the image on paper. More expensive printers have a complete printer unit (laser assembly, drum and toner system) for each color.

An important distinction is that digital, unlike offset, uses no film, imagesetters, plates, platesetters, or photochemicals, and produces no waste.

Turnaround time is greatly decreased because the numerous steps necessary for offset printing are eliminated

For short-run quantities, it is often more cost-effective

Revisions and updates to the piece are much more time and cost feasible

Fulfillment (inventory, storage, obsolete collateral, etc.) is substantially reduced

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Paper choice, size, and weight (thickness), as well as finishing options, may be limited

Full bleeds (printing to the edge of the paper) can be more difficult or costly (bleeds require trimming the piece down to final size) -- Diversity ArtWorks! minimizes this concern by offering our items with a .25 white margin

Digital does not yet have the color integrity of offset printing presses, so color may vary from print-run to print-run -- it is recommended that your vendor of choice insist on routine calibration of his/her equipment and that you 'print-proof' any large, critical runs to ensure that color and quality are acceptable

If items are folded across printed areas, toner may crack and creases may occur

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Contact Judith Leslie
Diversity ArtWorks!