One of the great developments in printing has been digital technology. A digital printer can generate an amazing number of different images quickly and accurately. Historically, printing was done by pressing a plate with the original image against something else. As far back as woodcut prints, a picture was cut or etched into a plate made of wood or metal, and then paper was pressed against the plate to transfer the image to the paper.When offset printing was discovered, an additional step was added when the plate was pressed against a rubber band that then transferred the image to the paper. But no matter what the type of printing, the starting point was always a plate. When digital printing was developed, the plate itself became unnecessary, opening up a wide range of possibilities. A digital printer uses as its image source a digital file, not a plate. The image is scanned onto a specially prepared internal drum and the drum transfers the image to paper.Because the drum can be can be reused over and over for any image, the same machine can be used for a wide range of printing jobs with the switch between jobs much less costly than when a plate is used. However, due to the slower printing time, digital printing is best for smaller jobs. In most modern printing companies, digital printing is offered as a great solution for smaller print jobs that involve a unique result.One fun application of digital tech in the printing world is personalized books. Since the original image being used is simply a digital file, the actual content of the book can be changed easily. There are many companies that offer personalized children’s books and digital printing means family histories and stories can be printed and bound at a reasonable cost. Fine art reproduction also utilizes a digital printer. Astoundingly accurate copies of artwork can be made on the higher quality digital machines and artists have a great deal of control over the color balance and saturation of the final product.Printing is an age old art. Once accessed only by a few professions, high quality printing is now available to everyone and for those that have unique projects that require accurate reproduction; digital printers are an affordable answer.