Digital print

Xerox Docutech

A Xerox Docutech black and white digital press, used to print One Parent Families' constantly updated Lone Parent Manual on demand

One of the most useful, and often little-known, new printing technologies is digital printing. It can be used to achieve all sorts of cost savings and service improvements in most charities’ operations. I’ve been working with digital printing since it first arrived on the commerceial printing scene in the early 1990s, and have an extensive network of digital printing suppliers to call on. With the right advice, you could make all kinds of savings and improvements. Here are a few examples.

Short runs, fast turnaround

Digital printing means affordable short runs. You can even print one copy of something if you need to. And because you can control the amount economically you only need to print what you need when you need it.

The efficiency of the digital process also means jobs can be turned around very quickly, sometimes even overnight.

Print what you need, when you need it

On-demand printing allows us to print very small quantities, quickly and cost-effectively. This eliminates the need to carry large stocks of printed material and ensures that your information is kept up-to-date. Remember: on average 15% of all printed materials are discarded because they have become obsolete.

Arthritic Association banner stands

Banner stands for the Arthritic Association, one application of (very!) short run digital printing


Every aspect of a digitally printed document can be changed from one copy to the next. This is often used to personalise marketing materials, but there are other uses, too. For example, say you provide your members with a directory of contacts working in your field, taken from a database of both national and local organisations. With conventional printing, every copy would be the same, so for example people living in Cornwall would get a guide that included local support groups in Arbroath. With digital printing, every copy can be different, so you could set up your documents just to include national organisations plus local organisations within a certain distance of the user’s address (calculated by region or by postcode). This could drastically reduce the size of the directory, saving a fortune in paper and in postage.

For advice on how the latest printing technology can be used to improve your services, get in touch.