Labelmart THOUGHT packaging Company

The Advantages of Digital Printing Compared to Traditional Printing Methods

May 30, 2023
By Ashley Stewart

In today’s fast-paced world, where time, quality, and cost play crucial roles, digital printing has emerged as a game-changer. Digital printing offers a plethora of benefits that make it a preferred choice for businesses and individuals alike for their product packaging and labeling needs. In this guide, we will explore these advantages, highlighting the key reasons why digital printing has revolutionized the packaging and label printing industry.

Traditional vs Digital Printing Methods

Digital Printing Press

Digital printing and traditional printing methods differ in their mechanical processes, which contribute to their distinct characteristics and capabilities. Traditional printing methods, such as offset printing or flexographic printing, rely on a mechanical process involving the transfer of ink from plates to the printing substrate. Digital printing, on the other hand, operates through a digital file-based process, eliminating the need for plates. This process involves the preparation of a digital file, the digital printer processing that image file, the application of ink via printheads directly to the substrate, followed by any required print finishing.

The key difference between digital printing and traditional printing methods lies in the absence of plates in digital printing. Traditional methods require plate creation and color mixing processes, while digital printing eliminates the need for these steps by directly transferring the digital file’s information onto the printing substrate. This fundamental mechanical difference contributes to the unique advantages and characteristics of each printing method. Let’s discuss some of those unique advantages.

Quick Turnaround

In today’s fast-paced business environment, time is of the essence. Traditional printing methods often involve lengthy setup times, making them less suitable for projects with tight deadlines. Digital printing, on the other hand, excels in providing quick turnaround times, even for projects with numerous SKUs with different artwork.

Digital printing eliminates the need for time-consuming setup processes, such as plate creation and color calibration, which are typical in traditional printing. With digital printing, assuming no raw material lead time issues and available capacity, you can start printing your files almost instantly, significantly reducing production time. This quick turnaround allows you to meet tight deadlines, respond promptly to market demands, and seize time-sensitive opportunities.


Digital printing offers cost-effectiveness, especially for smaller print runs. Traditional printing methods, such as offset printing, often require a significant upfront investment for plate creation, setup, and other pre-press processes. This cost structure makes traditional printing less feasible for small quantities or variable data printing.

Digital printing eliminates these upfront costs, making it an ideal choice for short print runs or personalized printing. Plate costs are replaced by file prep charges which are significantly less and are a one-time charge versus every time a new plate is needed. With digital printing, it essentially costs nothing extra to print various SKUs of the same size/material together on the same production run. This results in an increased quantity of labels produced per run, allowing the customer to pay a lower per label price as well.

High Print Quality

Barcode Labels Flawless Identification

Another remarkable advantage of digital printing is its ability to deliver high print quality. Digital printers utilize advanced technologies that ensure precise and accurate reproduction of colors, images, and text. The resolution and color accuracy of digital printers are consistently impressive, resulting in sharp, vibrant, and visually appealing prints.

Furthermore, digital printing eliminates the risk of variations and imperfections that can occur during traditional printing processes. Each print produced through digital printing is virtually identical to the original design, ensuring consistency across your entire print run. This high print quality is crucial for professional marketing materials, product packaging, and any application that demands visually striking and high-resolution prints.


Personalization and customization have become integral aspects of modern product marketing and branding strategies. Digital printing provides unmatched capabilities for customization, enabling businesses to create highly customized product packaging and labels that fully capture what the brand and product stand for.

With digital printing, you can easily incorporate variable data, such as names, addresses, or unique codes, into your print designs. This customization option allows you to create highly customized materials that can differ as often as each individual label. This is a particularly valuable capability when labels need to feature pre-printed barcodes or serial numbers for tracking purposes.

Digital Printing in the Label Industry

Label Mart Labels

One of the standout features of digital label printing is its capability for variable data printing, enabling you to print labels with unique information, such as barcodes, QR codes, or serialized numbering. Furthermore, digital label printers are incredibly versatile when it comes to label sizes and materials. They can accommodate a wide range of label sizes, from small adhesive labels to larger packaging labels, allowing you to cater to various product packaging requirements. Additionally, digital label printing supports different label materials, including paper, vinyl, film, and more. This versatility opens up endless possibilities for label manufacturers, enabling them to create labels suitable for different industries and applications.


Digital printing offers numerous advantages compared to traditional printing methods. From its flexibility in handling different materials and sizes to its quick turnaround times and cost-effectiveness for smaller print runs, digital printing has transformed the packaging and labeling industry. The high print quality, customization options, waste reduction, and on-demand printing capabilities make digital printing an excellent choice for businesses seeking efficient, visually appealing, and environmentally friendly labeling solutions. Embrace the power of digital printing and elevate your product labeling to new heights.

Have questions? Get in touch with the Label Mart team!