Digital Printing Vs. Offset Printing

Published 07/21/2016

What is the difference between digital printing and offset printing?

It is a question that many prospective print customers have asked time and time again.

Let us explore the differences between digital printing and offset printing to help you decide which direction makes the most sense for your next customized print project.

As with most customized print projects, the method of printing you select for your project should be influenced by the purpose of your end use, and will help to determine whether digital printing or offset printing is the more viable option for your customized print project.

Digital Printing

Digital printing is one type of print solution. Digital printing is the process of printing an image directly onto a wide variety of media. Generally speaking, digital printing is a method where files are transferred from a desktop publishing program and/or other digital sources using large-format or high-volume digital printers.

When businesses or organizations are looking for low-volume print jobs - runs around 5,000 or less - digital printing is typically the best printing solution. With short turnaround times and completely custom printing, digital presses are equipped to match or surpass other printing options. By utilizing the digital printing process, printing presses can print large quantities of customized sheets and one-on-one communications specific to the audience your business or organization is trying to reach. Unlike offset printing, digital printing does not use plates to transfer ink to media.

Digital printing has the quality of offset printing with the benefits of digital printing. It is great for anything from custom packaging to variable digital printing and custom mailings.

Examples of digital printing projects include: variable data printing, photographs, advertising books, direct mail and most print needs. Customers can expect digital printing project costs to run more than offset printing projects per piece, but cost less overall.

Traditional offset printing however, can never be replaced. It dominates the long run commercial markets, and the potential to add effects is limitless when printing on offset printing presses.

Offset Printing

If digital printing does not sound like the right option for your business or organization, offset printing is another type of print solution. Offset printing is the process by which an image is inked and then transferred from a plate to a blanket, and then on to a printing surface such as paper, vinyl or other media.

When businesses or organizations are looking for high-volume print jobs - runs around 5,000 or more - offset printing is typically the viable printing option.

By utilizing full color offset printing, customers will get unsurpassed quality and versatility that is sharp, clean and precise. Jobs that are too cumbersome to produce digitally can be produced with ease when using full color offset printing.

Examples of offset printing project include: brochures, calendars, postcards, books, posters, direct mail catalogs and most of your print needs.

With state-of-the-art technology and equipment, offset printing is more affordable than ever, and serves as a budget-friendly printing method for customized print projects that require runs in high-volume. Customers can expect offset printing project costs to run less than digital printing projects per piece, but cost more overall.

Have a special project in mind? We can customize or create any type of communication based on your specific needs. If you have questions about these or other printing solutions, contact Integrity Graphics at 1-800-343-1248. We'll walk you through the process and help you to decide which combination of services will work best for your next project.