Digital Printing vs Offset Printing

Digital Printing

At home, do you have an inkjet or laserjet that you connect to your computer? That’s a digital printer you’re looking at. The ones used by large printing businesses are bigger, quicker, and more accurate, but the principle is the same.

The phrase ‘copying’ was once used to describe digital printing, however, it is now obsolete. The great majority of digital printing nowadays is produced straight from computer files, rather than replicating a hard copy original. When there are a lot of originals, digital printing is the fastest technique to manufacture small runs. Digital printing is currently quite near to offset printing in terms of quality. Despite the fact that digital printing can now print on almost any material, there are still particular papers and jobs where offset printing is preferable. Digital printing may also perform as well as, if not better than, offset printing on certain substrates and workloads.

Offset Printing

Printing plates and wet ink are used in traditional offset printing, which is done on a printing press. Since there is additional preparation time and the final product must dry before completion, this form of printing takes a little longer to manufacture. At the same time, offset printing has a long history of producing the greatest quality on the largest range of materials, while providing the greatest color control. Furthermore, when generating vast quantities of prints from a few originals, offset printing is the most cost-effective option.

Which is better, which is worse? To try and tackle this question, let’s go over a few benefits and setbacks of each of the above. 

Digital Printing | Benefits

  • Quicker
  • Each print is the same. You run the possibility of fewer strange variations due to water and ink imbalances.
  • Low-volume tasks are less expensive. Offset printing has a lower cost per unit, therefore they criss-cross at some point.
  • Within a single print run, changing information is relatively easy. Consider the following scenario: you’re producing concert postcards. You could easily modify the dates and locations of some of the cards in the batch to make two sets of cards for two different performances.

Digital Printing | Setbacks

  • There are fewer materials on which you can print.
  • Digital printing has a lower color fidelity since it uses common inks that cannot perfectly match all shades. Offset projects employ precisely blended inks that are always a better match. With blended inks, digital is improving and coming closer, but those inks still don’t match as well as a unique mix.
  • Large-volume tasks have a higher cost.
  • Sharpness and crispness are slightly lower in quality.

Offset Printing | Benefits

  • Exceptional visual quality that can be relied on. You can rely on offset printing for crisp, clear type and pictures that are free of streaks and blemishes.
  • Better color fidelity relates to the color accuracy as well as the balance of the colors in the design. Since offset printing can mix specific color inks for each project, the colors will always be accurate.
  • It may be used on practically any type of material.
  • You receive more bang for your buck on assignments with a high volume of work. Starting an offset work is expensive. You must invest money and effort in the creation of the plates. However, after you’ve invested money, all of the supplies are ready to go, and huge offset works cost less than digital prints, which cost around the same per piece no matter how big the job becomes.

Offset Printing | Setbacks

  • Low-volume tasks have a high cost.
  • Because plates must be produced, the timeline will be extended.
  • If there is an error, the consequences will be far worse. If you miss a mistake on a plate and damage a batch, it’s more difficult to rectify, and the process must be restarted.

In conclusion, while personal choice plays a part, understanding the distinctions between digital and offset printing allows you to make informed judgments about which approach is ideal for your project. Working with a printing consultant may provide you with a great lot of additional information, so if you’re still unsure which is ideal for your project, don’t hesitate to seek our professional assistance!

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