Is offset printing better than digital printing?

Offset printing and digital printing are two different types of printing. If they may seem similar because they both use ink, there are several key differences between the two that needs to be understood.

Offset printing is a traditional printing process that involves transferring an image from a metal to a rubber blanket, and then to paper.Digital printing, on the other hand, transfers an image directly from an imaging cylinder to the paper.

Offset printing and Digital each have their own benefits over certain aspects of the printing process and job specific preferences. To clearly say one is better than the other would be to overlook the qualities that make each of them unique. But to not be familiar with each of the benefits of offset printing, and the benefits of digital printing would leave you in uncomfortable spot when it comes to expectations for your next printing project.

How much printing?

The most influential question that needs to be answered is “How much printing needs to be accomplished?” The volume of printing greatly influences if Offset printing is a better choice for you than digital. With offset the more you print the cheaper each one becomes. Digital has a much lower starting cost but offset seems to catch up quickly and greatly reduces the cost per each item printed at around 1,000 to 1,500 items. 

is Offset printing better than digital printing

So, Is offset printing better than digital printing? For your job it very well could be. If you’re still on the fence about your printing project read on.

What colors are you planning on using?

Professional printing colors are very important to branding. Most businesses have a color palette that they use for their marketing. offset printing uses Pantone colors, which is an industry standard. This allows for a much more accurate color when printed, but it also creates limitations in some cases.

For example, if you want to use 4 or more colors, it becomes increasingly expensive with offset. You may want to utilize this in your logo and other color intensive artwork. These same options are not available on digital presses. And this clearly gives the advantage to offset printing.

Digital Presses offer many ink capabilities that can be used for design features when they fit your niche. Is offset printing better than digital printing? for color specific Pantones you want to use it could be a better option than digital printing.

Offset printing substrates have more options

With the offset & digital printing technology available today, there are many substrates that be utilized in both processes. But offset presses have the advantage when it comes to a wider substrate range.

This is due to the fact that offset printing uses a water-based ink, which allows for printing on absorbent materials. Coated and uncoated papers are a commercial industry standard. But offset starts to look very nice when you consider more than just these. Textured papers are ideal for offset printing because they provide a good surface for the ink to adhere to. Synthetics are utilized much easier with offset UV Inks, unlike digital presses using dry toner. Most digital presses struggle to keep up with the quality of printing on these unique papers.

Variable Printing?

This option clearly is forged directly from the benefit of a digital press. Where offset printing technology gains speed, and dependability, is from incorporating plates and blankets. But it does not allow for the artwork to change between every sheet of paper.

If your printing project has the opportunity to be designed around variable printing such as postcards or personalized letters, then digital printing does not allow offset to take this win. Digital presses create a unique image with every impression allowing it to change quickly to the next page of artwork. Direct mail marketing utilizes this feature of digital printing for the fastest possible print to mail route. 

Offset vs. Digital printing which is better?

There truly is a wonderful need for both style of presses in the commercial printing industry. B2B Printing utilizes all of these advantages to their fullest extent and get the best of both worlds. Who is to say that offset is better than the other? Your next print project should decide that one.

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