Planning to print a product? Then you’ll need to choose which printing method – digital or litho printing – is the right fit for your project. Luckily, we’re here to help! We’ve compared both services, to make choosing one that bit easier.

Does Dennis Maps offer both digital and litho printing services?

Yes, we’re specialists in large format digital printing and large format litho printing. We offer smaller format digital and litho printing services as well. With a range of printing options, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you.

How does digital printing work at Dennis Maps?

Large format digital printingWe use two specialist Canon ColorWave 3800 printers to create large format digitally printed products. They work on the Solid in – Solid out principle, an environmentally friendly system that’s solvent free. Océ TonerPearls – small, solid pearls – are used instead of ink. In the printers, the TonerPearls are heated and become toner gel. Imaging devices then fire the gel onto print media with extreme accuracy. The gel droplets maintain their shape on the material, giving a high-quality print without the feathering that can sometimes be found on conventional inkjet prints. Our ColorWave printers can create maps, charts, posters, CAD drawings, canvas prints and self-adhesive films.

We can also print digitally in smaller formats. We use a Ricoh Pro C7200 machine to create medium format digital prints up to SRA 3 size (450mm x 320mm). This is ideal for leaflets, small posters, business cards, pocket size maps, and map covers (for maps with separate rather than integral covers). Something else in mind? Let us know and we’ll always see what we can do!

small format digital printingWhat benefits can digital printing offer?

Large format digital printing has many associated benefits. It offers flexibility around print runs – you can create a single print or choose to order many more, and all at a competitive price. The CrystalPoint technology is extremely cost effective compared to conventional inkjet printers. We create high quality, waterproof prints that are dry as soon as they leave our printers. This means they can be finished quickly, whether they need to be trimmed, folded or packaged. Planning to print a map or chart? We’ve spent time developing a set of map formats, the size of Ordnance Survey’s iconic Explorer and Landranger series. Customers can cost effectively create a single map or chart in colour using these existing formats. Notably, CrystalPoint creates a durable finished product that’s suited to outdoor use, making it an excellent choice for charts, maps and posters.

What materials can I create digital prints on?

Dennis Maps has a range of materials for you to choose from. We stock FSC-certified plain paper, poster paper, specialised map paper and recycled paper. We also offer Tyvek (tear proof and waterproof paper), canvas and self-adhesive film. Do let us know if you have another material in mind and we’ll investigate sourcing it.

How does litho printing work at Dennis Maps?

At Dennis Maps we use offset lithography (or litho) printing. Large format litho printing is a specialist service that isn’t as widely used as other types of litho printing. The process uses very large sheets of paper, a bigger plate setter, sizeable printing plates and a large printing press. Our KBA 162a large format printing press prints in as many as six colours on an incredibly large sheet of paper – 1200mm x 1620mm. Our presses create a printed image through a delicate chemical balance of oil-based inks and water. The ink is sent to the image areas of the printing plate and repels the water used in the same process. The water is collected by the non-image areas of the printing plate that are water receptive. When the water hits the non-image areas it prevents the ink from adhering, so it’s redirected to the ink-receptive areas instead.

large format litho printingWhat benefits can litho printing offer?

Litho printing is the ideal choice if you want to print large volume, high quality prints at a competitive price. This form of printing is more cost effective than digital printing for large print runs. Large format litho printers do take more time to set up than their digital equivalents but, once set up, large print runs are completed much faster. Our KBA 162a printer can produce as many as 10,000 large format sheets per hour!

Large format lithography is popular worldwide, for printing posters, maps, catalogues, books and more. Notably, it’s great for producing large paper maps. The large paper size used in our printers allows for an incredible amount of cartographic detail to be shown, in a way it wouldn’t be on a smaller sheet of paper. Looking to print something smaller? We cater for litho printing in smaller formats too.

What materials can I create litho prints on?

We offer a range of materials for litho printing, including weather-resistant and waterproof options.

Still undecided?

Our expert team are always here to help you choose the right printing service. Do get in touch if you’d like any advice on how to print large. We’re here to guide you through the printing process from start to finish.

Dennis Maps is one of the leading map printers in the world, producing more than two million maps and charts every year. We offer comprehensive pre-press services, large format print solutions using both large format litho printing and large format digital print technologies, plus specialised map folding and map finishing techniques.

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