Printing Options: Digital vs. Offset

4 06 2014

 

A common topic among Green Printer‘s customersĀ is whether to use the digital or offset printing technology. These are two different printing options that have distinct advantages and disadvantages. The lists below explain the benefits of each option:

Benefits of Digital Printing

  • There is no setup (printing 500 or less copies is less expensive than offset)
  • Turnaround is faster which helps meet strict deadlines
  • Plate Creation is not required

Benefits of Offset Printing

  • Moderately better image quality
  • Wider range of Media Handling that allows printing on various surfaces
  • Larger volume printing offer less expensive printing costs

There are six factors that dictate whether to use a digital or offset printer. These factors are as follows:

Turnaround: Digital printing is better for meeting strict deadlines. This type of printing is considerably faster than offset. Offset printing typically takes more time as a result of set up and plate creation.

Quantity: Small or medium sized runs are better suited for digital printing. Longer runs that require high quantity are best suited for offset printing.

Proofing: Setting up a proof for an offset printing run can be expensive. However, digital printing only requires one sheet that is prepared beforehand. This process is easily duplicated after approval.

Color Matching: Digital and Offset presses generate similar results when using CMYK. However, SPOT colors or Pantone is preferable to offset presses. Offsets uses liquid color ink which provides more accurate matching.

Paper Selection: Digital printing can top out at 350 GSM. Offset printing, on the other hand, can include heavier stock. Offset printing includes more substrates and larger sized sheet selections.


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