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HomeBusiness StrategiesSmall BusinessWhy litho printing is too slow and not suitable for small business

Why litho printing is too slow and not suitable for small business

The term Lithography was first invented by a person called Alois Senefelder in the year seventeen ninety six somewhere in Prague. This term can be described as printing from a smoother surface called a plate and then transferring it to substrate which is basically a paper. Back in the olden days the lithography moved the ink from the plate to the intended substrate or paper. Currently, Lithography is well known in a different word called Offset or rather Offset Lithography. The new process includes transferring the image intended for printing to a flat area for example an aluminum sheet and later moving it to a rubber roller and then it is lastly transferred to the substrate. This printing method is usually utilized in the printing of large volumes of papers such as magazines, text books and other newspapers which requires large orders of printed works.


Some of the challenges experienced in small businesses in the printing sector include the need of fast printers for the customers who might be in a rush.  This is usually because small businesses are in need of resources to enable them grow and fairly compete with other printing businesses. Small businesses are therefore forced to use faster printers of high quality to be able to meet the needs of the customers.


The setup process is usually long and involves applying the printing image with a hydrophobic substance such as grease after making the printing paper. The areas which are not to be printed are applied with hydrophilic which repels the ink followed by mounting the plate on its cylinder on the press. The plate cylinder rotates and comes into contact with the rollers which are made wet by a solution of water which sticks on the smooth parts of the image. Thereafter, a cylinder covered with a substance known as blanket is then turned around over the plate which then slants the water and picks up the ink. Finally, the cylinder is rolled over the paper and relays the ink to the paper.


Due to nature of Litho printers, the set up process which includes the development of the plates makes the process time much slower for potential customers who might be in a rush. This may not be advantageous for small business that might be on the limelight of acquiring new customers and at the same time maintaining the customers they already acquired since it provides a challenge in the time factor. Small business should consider printers which are much faster in delivery of services to speed up there growth in the business sector.


The Litho plates can become more sensitive due to the oxidation process which might be encountered due to the aluminum plates which might be anodized making the printer produce non- images when the plates are not properly taken care of.

The Litho Printing may be also not suitable for small business which might not be in possession to print large volume of work. The small businesses may be in period of in need of capital but using Litho printing in their business may discourage the customers who might need to print small volumes of papers such as the job seekers who might need to print their curriculum vitae. This is primarily because of the process and the rate at which Litho printer works which is a bit slow.

Penetration of the ink to the printing paper might also occur when the printer is run using a quite large amount of water. This later leads to poor or blurred image printed and rectifying this might include a startup process which  might be costly to  a small businesses which may not be in a position to constantly  acquire the materials.

This printing method also requires high monitoring activity during the printing process. The personnel’s involved in the work have to be very careful in handling the materials otherwise they might experience a fault which might affect the whole process. Small businesses might not have the enough resources to sustain all the workers involved in the printing work. The cost of purchasing the machines and constantly servicing and maintaining them might be a bit high for startup businesses.

Small businesses may lose a lot of customers due to the quality of image produced by the Litho printing. Litho printing produces a bit inferior image quality compared to other printing methods. The image quality is a very major factor considered by customers in choosing their printers and due to this challenge the business might not prosper.


Due to these factors, small businesses should consider choosing the current digital printing method to cope with the business growth in the financial sector. Digital printing is basically the transfer of electronic files such as the Portable document format from a computer directly to the printer. It usually considered   for fast and small quantity of orders with a bit higher amounts of detail.


The printing process does not involve many stages between the digital files to the final intended product and no chaotic formatting apparatus like the photo chemicals. This makes digital printing more faster and accurate and should be the preferred printing methods for the growing businesses.


1: Best quality: The digital printing method produces an impressive quality of printed images compared to the Litho printing. The colors are perfectly arranged on the prints and there is minimal occurrence of issues of deformed lines.

2: Financially friendly: The Digital printing does not require plates and this reduces the cost of its set up. The printing operation also requires fewer personnel which are easier to maintain in terms of the resources required.

3: Low Economical marketing: Digital printing provides the best solution of printing the marketing materials such as the business cards and the marketing letters. This makes this factor a more considerable and friendly to the small businesses which might be on the forefront to growing.

4: Cheaper printing for the customers is also another factor which makes digital printing preferred to other printing methods. The printing machines are quite available in the towns and a person at rush may prefer this method since it much more affordable.

What we think?

As a local print shop based in London we think digital printer are more suitable for the small businesses and we use digital printer for all our same day printing London as time is one of important factor in our printing trade. Customer always requires quick and fast printing service in affordable cost.


Considering the above listed factors, the digital printing is a much more essential and considered in the printing sector. The quality and time factor which are major concerns for both businesses and people/customers makes it above Litho printing. It majorly produces a high quality work in the shortest time possible. The process involved in the digital printing is much shorter compared to the litho. Small business should therefore consider digital printing as a quick printing solution and their major factor of production. This report should is  therefore meant  help the small business in choosing the digital printing as therefore preferred printing method due to the discussed reasons.

Guest Post By: Rob King

Social Media Manager (Print In London)


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