Digital Vs Offset Printing

OFFSET AND DIGITAL PRINTING: A Comprehensive Comparison

Whenever somebody mentions different types of printing, you might have thought that printing is just PRINTING! It does not matter what method you choose. Am I right? So for your information, it is not what you exactly think about it! Let’s take a look at the two most common types of printing, the offset, and digital printing, and differentiate them on the basis of their working mechanisms.

What is Offset Printing?

Offset printing is a printing method that is known for more than a century and was considered the best way of printing commercial stuff like advertisements, newspapers, magazines, brochures, postcards, etc. for the past few decades.

Now talking about its mechanism, the offset printing method uses metal plates that aid in transferring an inked image onto a rubber sheet, which then twirls that image onto a sheet of paper, a vinyl, or some other surface. The most noteworthy feature of this printing technology is, it can efficiently operate and is the best option when it comes to printing larger quantities and also provides excellent color reproduction, clean and professional looking printing.

Some Advantages of Offset Printing:

  • Offers cost-effective printing of large quantities
  • The greater the number of prints, the lesser would be the price per print
  • Different paper types with custom finishes can be used
  • Provides an exceptional printing quality with better detail and color fidelity
  • Different inks such as Pantone and metallic color are now available

What is Digital Printing?

Digital printing is a printing technology that prints digital-based images straight onto various media substrates. Unlike offset printing, there is no need for any printing plate in the digital printing method that makes use of other options such as toners and liquid inks. Its working mechanism includes digital files (desktop publishing files or PDFs), which are sent to the digital printing press straight to print that file onto a sheet of paper, fabric, canvas, cardstock, synthetics, and other substrates.

Now let’s discuss its printing capacity. Digital printing excels in printing smaller quantities; for instance, you can have a run of more or less 20 greeting cards or 50 pamphlets by using such technology. Another worth mentioning feature of digital printing is its variable data ability, which lets you print each piece with a unique name, code, or address pretty easily. So whenever you need to print such kind of data, you can confidently go for digital printing!

Additionally, digital printing is the best option for business and individual use since they don’t need large runs at a time.

Some Advantages of Digital Printing:

  • Cost-effective short runs
  • Can be operated when needed
  • Prints only a desired amount
  • Effectively print lower quantities (20 to 50 pieces)
  • Variable data ability (uniques names, codes, or addresses can be printed quite easily)
  • Offers low cost and good quality black and white prints
  • Digital quality has now become more acceptable due to improved technology

Which printing type one should go for? 

In my opinion, both of these methods are pretty effective and useful. But when it comes to pick and choose ONLY one, then it is really important to know what kind of user are you! Do you want printing on a large scale? If yes, then offset printing is more like a blessing for you with which you can get a large number of high-quality prints at low costs. You can use different kinds of papers with custom finishes and various ink colors too. 

On the other side of the picture, if you demand printing small quantities (less than 100 pieces) for your personal or office use, then there is no good option other than digital printing! The best thing about this method is that you can get unique data on each page (if you want to print that way) without any difficulty. So I think both of these methods are beneficial in their own way. The only thing that matters is your need!

In the USA, Papermart is offering a variety of custom packaging and printing solutions. That includes offset printing technology too.

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