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What’s the Difference? Offset vs. Digital Printing

April 20, 2020

What’s the Difference? Offset vs. Digital Printing

So, you’ve got a print project? You’re probably doing research on where to print, what kind of printing you need, the cost, the time it takes, the list could go on! So, where do you start? The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out the best type of printing for your project. Some projects are best suited for one or the other. We’re here to explain digital vs. offset printing, so you could have the best quality and best price for your job.

What is offset printing?

Offset printing is a common printing method in which ink is transferred, or offset, from a plate onto a rubber blanket, and then onto the surface or material being printed on. Offset printing takes a longer amount of time for set up than digital printing, ensuring that the files are set up correctly, the colors of the print piece are right, and that plate, blanket, and surface are correctly in place.

The advantages to offset printing include a higher-quality outcome. Each piece printed will have a consistent, professional look – no matter what the quantity. However, because setup time is much more intense than digital prints, offset printing tends to be more expensive. Additionally, this type of printing is best for things in mass quantities.

Typical Offset Printing Projects:

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Brochures
  • Stationary

What is digital printing?

Digital printing is another common type of printing, that consists of a process in which an image is directly printed on a form of material. These print jobs are typically smaller print jobs that are created from digital files and sent to large format or inkjet printers. There is a much less labor-intensive setup process than offset printing, so costs are lower for digital printing set up. However, it is a more expensive printing process per piece, therefore digital printing is best for smaller print jobs.

Typical Digital Printing Projects:

  • Business Stationary
  • Print on Demand
  • Photos
  • Architectural Designs
  • Fine Art
  • Database-Driven Print Files

Now that you’re equipped with the information to know what type of printing your print job is best for, we’re here to help. Check out our offset and digital printing services, and request a quote today.