What’s the difference between litho and digital print?

When producing print collateral it is essential that you have a basic understanding of the two most common methods of printing – lithographic and digital. Both techniques can produce a high-quality finish, but have a number of different benefits you should consider when working on a new print campaign.

If you are unsure which process you want to use for your marketing collateral, don’t worry!  This post will give you a quick overview of each process, the differences between the two and discuss the added extras available for each, as well as give you all of our contact details should you wish to discuss an upcoming job.

Lithographic printing

Litho print is a great choice when you want to ensure consistently flawless quality. Maybe you need crystal clear and sharp images form SBS HD print or have a colour critical brochure where you just can’t compromise on the colour accuracy and consistency. Maybe you are looking for an environmentally friendly coating to enhance the finished piece, whatever you need, we have all the options here for you.

You can also unleash your creativity with an almost unlimited number of different papers, textures and finishes available. Your Marketing team will never have been so happy at all the options to choose from.

Lithographic printing allows you to print on a huge variety of stock, including paper, card and plastics, but offers a longer turnaround time than digital.  Short runs are not ideal for lithographic printing, as it becomes less cost-effective.


  • Economy of scale. The longer the run, the cheaper it is.
  • Great colour consistency and quality
  • Not limited to a 4-colour process
  • Paper stock flexibility
  • Huge selection of additional coatings and finishes available


  • Expensive when working with very short runs
  • No opportunity for personalisation
  • Costly to produce a wet proof

Digital printing

Digital print is your fast, flexible option delivering high-quality results. The ability of adding personalisation to your print becomes simple and easy with our digital print options.

Ideal for personalised mailings, samples, trials, one-off projects or even a small pre-production supply of a larger print run, our fantastic digital print solutions are ideal for many of our client’s print needs.


  • Super-fast turnaround times
  • Cheaper for very small print runs
  • Personalisation available
  • Full proof available before the run starts
  • Increasing quality and colour accuracy – often hard to tell the difference


  • No economy of scale – it doesn’t get cheaper the more you print
  • Less additional finishes and coatings available

Need advice? We can help!

With all the options available it can be difficult to know where to start. Our friendly and experienced team will support you every step of the way whatever your print project, making clear recommendations throughout the process to ensure the final result meets your (and our) high standards. We’ll make sure you have all the information you need to make the right choice for your business and your budget.

Having comprehensive digital print capabilities and large format options working alongside our B1 and B2 litho printing presses, we’re able to maximise the value of your print

You can also email hello@sbsprintgroup.co.uk or visit the Litho and digital print pages on our website.