Offset vs. Digital Printing
For a long time, the only option in commercial printing was offset lithography. But recently there have been great developments in digital printing technology, giving you two great options in how you can bring your project to life. When you are choosing a printing technology, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each technology to pick the right process for your project.
Offset lithography is the most common process in high volume commercial printing. Offset printing creates the highest quality image and works well with paper as well as with a wide variety of printing surfaces, including wood, metal, cloth, leather and plastic. During the offset printing process, the text and images are burned onto a special plate and then offset (transferred) first to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface. With offset printing, the cost of printing decreases as the quantity increases because the same plates can be used for multiple copies.
On the other hand, digital printing gets rid of most of the mechanical steps required in offset lithography. Due to the more accurate digital process, you are ensured that every single copy will be identical. Though the quality of the image is slightly lower than in offset printing, the process is quicker and it is the cheapest option for low volume printing. It also allows you to create a more customized printing job. Digital printing also offers the option of changing text or graphics (such as names, addresses, special offers) on individual pieces without slowing down the printing process.
Each printing project that you have will have different needs and requirements in quality, cost, and timeframe. By knowing advantages and disadvantages of both offset and digital printing, you can pick the process that is the best for your project, allowing you to feel secure that you will get the results that you need.