Digital Vs. Offset Printing

We are often asked ques­tions on the dif­fer­ence between dig­i­tal and off­set print­ing. We have answered this ques­tion in the past and we can admit it can be a bit con­fus­ing.

We are often asked ques­tions on the dif­fer­ence between dig­i­tal and off­set print­ing. We have answered this ques­tion in the past and we can admit it can be a bit con­fus­ing. So, we have bro­ken it up into cat­e­gories so you can get a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the dif­fer­ence. Here is how to decide which is best for your project.

Quan­ti­ty

Dig­i­tal print­ing is ide­al for low vol­ume print­ing. Off­set print­ing is ide­al for large vol­ume print­ing.

Size

Dig­i­tal print­ing can accom­mo­date small­er print sizes as big as 12 x 18. Off­set print­ing is more flex­i­ble with print­ing on larg­er sheets.

Qual­i­ty

Dig­i­tal Print­ing press­es are capa­ble of high qual­i­ty prints, but prob­lems in colour some­times occur. Off­set print­ing pro­duces sharp, clean, high qual­i­ty images.

Pan­tone

Dig­i­tal print­ing can some­times be lim­it­ing in colour match­ing espe­cial­ly to pan­tone colours. Off­set can print any Pan­tone or PMS colour.

Pric­ing

It usu­al­ly depends on the vol­ume of print­ing as well as the com­pa­ny you are using. How­ev­er Dig­i­tal print­ing is usu­al­ly cheap­er because there is less set up required and there is less ink used. Off­set print­ing can be more expen­sive because of the set up need­ed, the run time and ink used.

Fin­ish­ing

Dig­i­tal print­ing is lim­it­ed in fin­ish­ing options. Off­set print­ing is more flex­i­ble with the fin­ish­ing options because it has mul­ti­ple press heads.

Mate­ri­als

Dig­i­tal Print­ers are usu­al­ly lim­it­ed to basic mate­ri­als such as paper. Off­set print­ers offer a vari­ety of print­ing mate­ri­als such as plas­tic, wood, met­al.

Turn­around Times

Dig­i­tal print­ing usu­al­ly has faster turn­around times because of the eas­i­er set­up of process. Off­set print­ing takes longer to print because of the set­up process and dry­ing times.

Vari­able Data

Dig­i­tal print­ing is great for cre­at­ing cus­tomized copies, such as dif­fer­ent names or address­es. Off­set print­ing is lim­it­ed to what is on the plate so it is not as cus­tomiz­able.

Ink

Dig­i­tal print­ing uses fuser flu­ids with heat process (ton­er) or UV cur­ing process (ink). Off­set print­ing uses inks that are high­ly vis­cous or thick.

Source: http://blog.uprinting.com/digital-vs-offset-printing-infographic/