When Should I Use Offset Printing instead of Digital Printing?

When Should I Use Offset Printing instead of Digital Printing?

For those individuals unfamiliar with offset printing or what it is, being asked by a professional printing company whether you’d like something printed using offset printing or digital printing can be a difficult question to answer. Not all printing is the same, so knowing the difference between the two major forms of printing will help you decide which one is right for your next print project.

What is Offset Printing Anyways?

Very succinctly put, offset printing is the process of transferring or “offsetting” an inked image from an aluminum plate to a rubber blanket, and finally onto your printing surface. Because the ink isn’t transferred directly onto the paper, the term offset printing is used.

How is Digital Printing Different?

Digital printing uses toner liquid ink to print versus plates. Digital printing companies use larger, faster commercial versions of the digital printer you most likely have at home. Digital printing has come a long way in the past 20 years. Improvements in digital technology have increased the overall printing quality, making it more commercially viable. Digital printing spans many different types of equipment and allows for images to be easily changed from sheet to sheet without having to change out printing plates or blankets.

When to use Offset Printing versus Digital Printing

When you need an extremely large amount of prints created or need extremely accurate color reproduction, offset printing is your best choice. Because offset printing can print larger quantities faster, it is often the most cost-effective printing method when you need a high volume of printing. In fact, the more you print with offset printing, the cheaper your price per item will be. Have a unique or creative print job? If so, offset will help you utilize a greater variety of specialty paper and custom finishes, like metallic or fluorescent inks, making it the logical choice. Lastly, if you need the highest possible quality of imaging for your print projects or need to ensure that the colors used are an exact fit, offset printing offers your best print solution. With the Pantone Matching Systems (PMS), you have complete control of color reproduction.

Alternatively, if you need a smaller quantity print run, such as flyers for the school bake sale or posters for your upcoming play, digital printing is the best way to go because of the lower set up costs. Speaking of cost, if your print project is in black and white, it is usually cheaper to utilize digital printing. Also, if your print material needs to have different numbers, codes, or addresses, digital printing offers the ability to use variable data, whereas, offset printing cannot.

Acme Printing For All Your Printing Needs

Acme Printing offers a full array of offset and digital printing solutions. Whether you need ultra-high-quality images in mass quantities or a quick turnaround time on a handful of business print materials, we have you covered. Contact us today at 423-581-8534 or contact us online to obtain sound advice on which type of printing to use for your specific print projects.

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