Digital or Traditional printing?

Freshly printed newspaper quickly advances through our large, traditional printing press.

At Newspaper Club there are two types of printing: digital and traditional.

Digital printing

By digital newspapers, we mean newspapers that have been printed on a digital printer. It's our most popular method of printing a newspaper.

Our digital printer uses a dry toner electrophotography process to print anything from one copy to hundreds at an affordable price.

Two people standing behind our digital printer reviewing pages as they are being printed.

Digital newspapers are printed in a batch (or 'print run') onto one giant roll of newsprint, which is then cut and folded by machine into individual newspapers. We print all the orders of one type (e.g. 55 gsm or salmon) together before changing the roll to a different type of paper.

Changing the paper is quite a big job, so we wait until we have enough orders to print before changing it - this is why your newspaper may be printed and despatched the same day, or in a few days, depending on what we are printing.

We print and deliver digital newspapers in 1 - 7 days in the UK and overseas. It is possible to print hundreds of copies digitally but after around 500 copies, it’s usually more cost-effective to print traditionally.

Traditional printing

What we call traditional newspaper printing uses a web-offset press, just like most daily newspapers. The traditional press is huge - it's designed to print thousands of newspapers at a time. As it's such a large press, it is not cost-effective to print less than 500 copies traditionally. In fact, most newspaper printers won't print less than 1,000 at a time.

If you would like a newspaper that has the look and feel of one you'd find in a newsagent this is the method to go for.

Our traditional printing press that is tall and yellow and has freshly printed newspapers running along the top of the machine.

What is a web offset press?

A web offset newspaper press uses giant reels or 'webs' of newsprint and four colours of ink – cyan, magenta, yellow and 'key' (black), usually abbreviated to CMYK. The artwork is imaged by laser onto aluminium printing plates, one for each colour. The colours are then printed onto the running web of paper, in sequence Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, resulting in the complete full colour image.

The separate webs of paper then come together and are slit, cut again, folded, stacked and packaged. The whole process is very fast – it typically takes less than 30 seconds from the ink going onto the paper to the finished newspaper being boxed, or palletised for distribution.

How to choose

Order size

For most orders, the number of copies required determines the printing type. Fewer than 500 copies are printed digitally, and more than 500 copies are usually printed traditionally. Between 500 and 1000 copies there is a choice between the two types of printing, depending on the amount of pages and type of newspaper you are printing. Please contact us if you’d like to talk through different options.

Paper stock and finishing

With traditional printing there is a greater choice of paper stock and finishing options. Find out how to choose your newspaper.

A table containing a colorful array of newspaper samples of different sizes and shapes.

Print quality

Both types of printing produce high-quality results, and the choice often depends on the look and feel you want for your newspaper. One of the main differences is the way colours look in print, so we recommend ordering a free sample pack to compare.

There are some extra considerations when designing for traditional printing, so make sure to read our printing guides before you start.

If you're unsure which one to choose, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.


We send all orders out as quickly as possible. For more information on turnaround times, please email us with details of what you’re planning to print.

Proofs and test prints

With digital printing it's easy to print one copy to test something out. With traditional printing it's not possible to do this as hundreds of copies need to be run through the press to print a single copy.

See a sample

If you would like to see examples of digital and traditional printing, you can get a free sample pack.