Digital print is a modern printing technology which partially shares the characteristics of laser printing or photocopying and partially those of offset print.

In digital printing, the duplication of a reproduction copy occurs, similarly to offset printing; however, as in the laser printers, the matrix preparation phase is omitted and the printing process results in the exact number of required copies. Due to this, digital printing is sometimes called print on Demand.


• In case of a relatively low print run (up to several hundred copies), POD is cheaper than offset print

• It is possible to estimate the print run precisely (beginning from only one copy)

• Instant completion allows for quick supplemental print runs

• High quality of print

• It is possible to print on various base paper types


• In case of extensive coverage, the resulting print quality is slightly lower than in offset print, but only so in case of offset printing carried out by means of the best available equipment. In practice, however, the quality of POD may surpass the quality of offset print, as many small printing houses do not own appropriate equipment.


• Print on demand allows to lower the total printing costs

• The period between the end of the typesetting phase until the appearance of the printed magazine on the market is shortened

• Print run can be adjusted to the amount of orders, even individual ones

• Enables printing copies of back issues for lower costs

• Enables publishers to sell current and back issues of their periodicals online without maintaining a store

THE OPEN SOURCE CULTURE FOUNDATION is aiming to familiarize the publishers of cultural periodicals with ways of adopting print on demand. The Foundation organizes print on demand tutorials, collects information about digital presses, their offer and capabilities. The Foundation recommends printing houses offering print on demand which provide high quality service and which grant discounts for cultural magazines, which are included in the catalogue of


How does digital print work?

– In short – in digital print, the phase of preparing print matrices is skipped.

Is print on demand similar to laser print?

– In many aspects it is. Digital print can be compared to industrial photocopying, or printing on a laser printer with very high parameters.

How should source material be prepared?

– Source material for digital printing should be delivered to the printing house in the form of .PDF or PostScript files. Details on the methods of preparing PDF files will be soon discussed here.

How to create a PostScript file?

– Install a PostScript printer driver on the system, on which the composition is created; for example, install a Linotronic 330 printer and set it to print to file. By means of appropriate applications it is possible to create a PDF file out of the PostScript file, which allows to view the published magazine in the form in which it will be printed.

How to transfer the materials to the printing house?

– On a diskette, CD-ROM, removable disk or other media accepted by the printing house. If the file is around 1 MB it can also be sent by e-mail. If the file or files are bigger, they can be sent via the FTP protocol – digital printing houses usually provide an account accessible for their clients.

Are there any restrictions connected with the binding of the material printed digitally?

– No. The technologies used for creating covers are the same as in other print techniques. Most often, paperback is used, but the accessibility of various types of bindings depends on the particular printing house.

Where can I find the address of a digital press?

– The addresses of printing houses offering digital print services recommended by the Foundation can be found below. Other information can be easily found using Internet search engines.

Where can I find more information about the digital print technology?

– More information about digital print can be found on Many practical tips are also present on the Web pages of the individual press offices.


After having researched the current market of digital printing services, we recommend the following:



Apart from assistance and practical advice for customers, the above offices have offered significant discounts for the first order placed for printing a magazine catalogued in

The Foundation would like to invite other digital printing offices to cooperate with us.