When you’re having items printed for your business or event, you have the option to choose between digital and offset printing.
These days, there is a stigma that digital is always better for everything; because it implies that it is more technologically
advanced than the other options available.
There is some truth to this when it is the printing industry and its associated services that are up for discussion – but in the world
of printing, newer technology does not always mean better. You’ve got to understand this when trying to make a decision
regarding your printing project. There are pros and cons of both digital and offset printing methods that may surprise you!
This is the more ‘traditional’ method of printing. It involves the creation of plates that are then used to transfer the images
onto the appropriate surfaces.
The benefits of offset printing include the following:
• The image can be transferred onto a wider variety of different materials when it is offset printing that is selected
• The image is said to be of a higher quality
• Large volume jobs cost less per unit
• Uses the Pantone colour system, which increases the colour accuracy when colours for images and fonts are selected this way
• Due to the time and cost involved with setting up an offset printer, it is harder to get proofs that demonstrate 100% accurate colour
• It is often more cost-effective to use when you only require one or two colours in your print run.
Digital printing does not require the creation of plates – all printing is done from a digital image.
• Four-colour printing is used in digital printing. The cost does not increase or decrease regardless of the colours used to print a project
• There is no fee to setup the printer as there is with offset printing
• The cost per unit does not change drastically regardless of the quantity requested. A printer may offer discounted rates for bulk jobs,
although the cost does not change due to setup and printing fees as is the case with offset printing
• Proofs can be generated quickly, accurately and inexpensively
• There is more room for customization
• As minimal setup is required, the turnaround time for digital printing is shorter than offset printing
• Digital printing can take place on fewer mediums than offset printing.
When trying to decide between these two options, consider the size of the job, the frequency
in which you’ll need it printed, and the level of customization involved.
Both offset and digital printing can produce a high-quality outcomes, but the choice comes
down to quality, efficiency and cost!