A computer (including a monitor, mouse pad or pencil and keyboard) is required for the digital printing process. The computer can be on an IBM compatible platform or and Apple Mac. The image input devices are scanners, digital cameras or Photo CDs. Software Applications like Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter can be used to work with the images. The digital printing process involves everything from gathering the required images, loading them in the computer, manipulating these images using software applications and lastly sending these images to an electronic printer for printing.
Considerations in digital printing
The print maker needs to take into account a catalogue printing few things before he prints an image. He will work with the creator of the image (artist) to attain an optimum size and quality for the printed image. For this he will need to crop, re-size, or manipulate all or selected parts of the image. The image resolution, measured in dots per inch (dpi), needs to be maintained at certain levels to ensure quality digital prints. The image resolution is an important attribute in digital printing as it directly affects the systems ability to output fine details in an image. Low resolution images will appear grainy in the digital prints while high resolution images will require more ink to print and are of a larger file size.
Advantages of Digital Printing
The digital images are easily portable on storage media and can be saved for a long time.
A wide variety of inkjet, laser and bubble jet printers can be used for printing.
Digital manipulation of the images can be done using image manipulation software applications.
Transfer of images from the artist to the printers is easy via email FTP or other media like Floppy disks or CD-ROM.
Images that don’t come out right, like bad photographs, need not be printed.
Inks and Substrates in Digital Printing
Electronic printers today can use a wide variety of inks to print and can print on various substrates. Ranging from photo-glossy and matte papers and various watercolor and canvas papers, these substrates can take different inks like dye-based inks and pigment based inks. Not all substrates can be used with all kinds of inks. Check with your digital printing company to make sure you get the right combination of substrates and inks for your desired results.