Offset printing and digital printing are often confused, but there are huge differences between the two in terms of the process used and the end result.
Whether it’s a flyer with a small print run or a brochure for your business, you have probably wondered what printing option would be best in terms of the size, type, and budget of your project. When weighing your options, you’ll likely find yourself having to decide between two of the most popular types of printing: digital and offset printing.
So, what’s the difference between the two, and how can you determine which option is best for your printing project? If it’s a larger print project, you will want to consider the benefits of offset printing.
Digital Printing vs. Offset Printing
Digital and offset printing are often confused or assumed to be identical. In reality, each differs greatly in terms of the process used to achieve the print and the final quality of the print itself. Specifically, digital printing refers to the type of printing that most people are familiar with—printed directly from their computer to a printer. With a digital print, toner or liquid ink is transferred directly from the printer to the paper (or other material). Digital printing should be utilized if you are on a tight deadline or if you have a small print run.
Offset printing refers to an older style of printing that’s still very popular today. With offset printing, large aluminum plates are used to transfer ink onto a rubber blanket, which then transfers the image to the printing material. The term “offset” makes sense here because rather than the ink being directly transferred to the printing surface, it’s done in a second-hand manner.
When Offset Printing is Your Best Choice
Typically, offset printing is the best option for larger printing projects, such as books, magazines, brochures, and other projects that require a substantial number of prints. With these larger-scale projects, offset printing can provide a consistent, high quality image. Typically, high quality offset printing also tends to be a more budget-friendly option for larger projects as well. For smaller projects, black and white projects, or even projects that require subtle changes with each print (such as with personalized ID cards), digital printing tends to be the better option.
Advantages of Offset Printing
There are many benefits of offset printing to consider when determining the best option for your next printing project. In addition to being a more affordable choice for larger projects, offset printing provides the highest quality and consistency, hands-down. That’s because, unlike digital printing, offset printing ensures even ink flow and a clean, detailed image every time.
Furthermore, offset printing gives you the ability to use special ink options, such as metallic or Pantone colors that you otherwise cannot get with digital printing. The options for printing materials is also significantly greater with offset printing, with a large number of paper types and custom finishes available to suit the unique needs of your project.
If you have a large printing project that needs the look and consistency of high quality offset printing, contact Arkansas Graphics today at 501-263-2649 to get an estimate.