For a prospective print client, the difference between commercial printing or offset printing and digital or advertising printing is digital printing is well-suited for the short-run printing (at 1 copy) & offset printing will be better for the higher volume printing (starts at 2,000+ identical copies). Let’s see more about these differences in detail. But before that, if you are looking to get some regular updates on offset printing related news then you can follow Rex Three Commercial Printing in Twitter. Let’s get started!
Different Technology Gets Used in the Offset Printing and Digital Printing
The technological difference between both the two printing forms (offset printing and digital printing) is actually in a way images are transferred on the paper. It’s this difference, which affects its cost economics to win run digital printers machinery, this difference in the cost gets passed straight on printing customers.
The offset printing makes use of etched metal plates, which apply ink on the paper sheet. Setup for offset printing is significantly very time-consuming and costly compared to digital printing. Metal plates—1 plate for every colour used—have to get etched, as well as applied to rollers, which transfer this ink straight on the paper. After that, offset press has to run for some minutes on the “scrap” paper sheets until plates are rightly inked; just think of this like “warm-up” paper sheets, which are thrown away.
The offset printing is perfect for huge runs demanding fast turnaround as well as consistent quality. The metal printing plates will transfer this ink design to the rubber blanket. After that, a rubber blanket will be rolled on the paper. The term “offset” can be used because the ink isn’t printed straight on the paper.
Benefits of the offset printing
- Higher color fidelity generally refers to the accuracy of colors as well as their balance in design. As offset printing will mix custom inks for every job, it will get these colours spot-on.
- Better image quality is reliable. You can count on the offset printing for the clean and distinct type or images without any streaks and spots
- For the large volume tasks, you will get more for the money, and costs much to start the offset job. You need to invest money in creating plates that take a little time. But, when you have invested this, the materials are set to go, actually you will spend very little on the big offset tasks than the digital print that is the same per piece doesn’t matter how big this job gets.
- Works well on any type of material.
Drawbacks of the offset printing
- Longer timetable as plates have to be made
- Worse fallout if there is an error. Suppose you do not catch a typo on the plate & ruin the batch it is tough to fix & the process begins again
- Higher cost of the low-volume tasks
Digital Printing or advertising printing has got its benefits. Setup is very cost-effective for the smaller quantity projects as there’s not any need to replace the printing plates. The key benefit is the ability to adjust the variable data. Suppose each of the pieces needs a unique image, name, code, and address, digital printing is the right service option for the business.
Benefits of digital printing:
- Every print is identical, hence you risk lesser odd variations that are caused by the imbalances in ink and water.
- Much faster
- Changing info within one single print job. For example, if you were printing postcards advertising for the concert. You can change dates & locations for a part of the batch and create 2 sets of the cards for two different shows.
- Cheaper for low-volume tasks. Price per unit will drop for the offset printing, thus at a certain point, they will criss-cross.
Drawbacks of digital printing:
- Low color fidelity will be possible with digital printing as digital jobs make use of standard inks, which can’t match various colors. Offset jobs make use of mixed inks that will be the closest match.
- Lesser options in the materials you will print on
- Lower quality, crispness, and sharpness
- Higher cost for the large-volume jobs
Whereas personal preference plays an important role, differences between digital and offset printing let you make smart decisions while you are choosing which technique can serve your project in the best way.