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It used to be the norm in printing that an exact reprint—using same art with no changes—was less costly than the original print job. In the days of traditional film and plates, this was true. Artwork, prepress proofs, prepress work such as imposition and stripping, film and plates were all things that could be reused and that we would not have to pay for twice. The items we did have to pay for again on a reorder included paper, inks, equipment use, bindery and labor.
At D Media, everything today is digital. This means that artwork is sent directly to digital plates, without the need of film or stripping. We use the plates to print, then dispose of them. Plates may remain in our print shop for few weeks, but deteriorate after a couple of days due to the water solution chemical applied to them during the printing routine.
There is nothing reusable from a print job for a repeat, other than the art. The art has no cost except the labor time required to create new plates. We can’t reuse plates or anything used in the original print order for repeats.
Why Go Digital if There’s No Savings on Reprints?
Printing involves a series of tasks, including but not limited to, prepress (setting up files, imposition, creating plates), proofing, ordering materials, setting up equipment, printing (run time), bindery, and shipping/handling. Digital plates cut the prepress part of that time in half. There is no film output, then another step to make plates.
The film negative is a 1st generation, created from a laser. When film is used to burn a plate, that plate is a 2nd generation. Digital plates, however, are a 1st generation. We don’t have to put film negatives on top of another material to burn them. Digital plates have a sharper image because they are burned directly from the laser.
Overall, digital plates make the prepress process faster, better quality, and easier to reproduce original art. At D Media, you can expect the same high-quality printing with a repeat order as delivered on the original press run.