the Digital Printing Market

Update 08/11/2019


1.1 Overview and definition of digital printing

Printing can be defined as the action of reproducing characters or images on a medium.

Above all, it is important to distinguish between digital printing and offset printing:

  • The offset printing process

In the 19th century, the impression offset printing has gradually replaced lithography, which is an "industrialized" version. Offset printing involves several steps of preparation before printing, which is not done immediately on paper: we speak of indirect printing where we use a plate of offset printing.

Offset printing is recommended for high-volume printing. This is the major process in professional printing.

  • Digital printing

Digital printing is a reproduction technique that allows documents to be printed directly from computer data. It was officially born in 1993, although the first Macintoshes of 1984 already facilitated and democratized desktop publishing (DTP) - the preparation of documents for computer-assisted printing.

The common denominator of all digital printing techniques is therefore that the content development phase is carried out from a file formatted by computer processing.


There is, therefore, no intermediate step, unlike offset. The two best-known examples are:

  • inkjet printing - often for large runs or formats;
  • laser printing - for small runs.

There are 4 main techniques for fixing ink:

  • electrography;
  • magnetography;
  • iconography;
  • inkjet.

Digital printing is faster and more flexible.

The last decade had seen an accelerated shift from analogue to digital, making this more flexible digital offer a major activity for many companies. Printers that were previously 100% analogue now own digital printing equipment.

Overall, the printing market is facing an increasingly digital world, but this does not prevent demand from remaining on digital printing. Despite the dematerialization of media, many sectors remain attached to printing (in particular for reading, advertising, working documents, etc.).


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