Offset printing and digital printing are the two main types of printing available. They both have their advantages and so you need to make sure you choose the right one for your job.
In the printing world, two of your main options are offset printing and digital printing. There is a lot of debate as to which is the best or most appropriate type of printing, so to give you a better idea, read on to find out about the basics of offset and digital printing before we move on to some points of comparison.
Offset printing – the basics
This is probably the most common type of printing and one of its main advantages is that it produces a high quality of image. This type of printing can also be done on a whole range of materials from paper to metal, leather and plastic. Also, the more units you order, the less the printing costs per unit.
Digital printing – the basics
One of the main benefits of digital printing is that every print comes out exactly the same. It is also more cost effective for businesses looking for small print runs, and its technical capabilities are increasing all the time. It also offers some good customisable printing options.
When it comes to checking proofs of your work before it is printed, digital printing undoubtedly has the edge over offset, which can be very expensive to proof. By contrast, it is quick and easy to check digital proofs.
Digital printing also wins in terms of colour capabilities, so if you want to get something printed that has lots of different colours on it, this is probably the way to go. By contrast, if you have something that needs only one or two colours, then depending on the quantity you want printed, you might prefer to consider offset printing instead.
The quantity debate
Where the two types of printing really differ is in terms of the quantities they are able to produce for good value for money. If you are after a large single print run the offset printing is probably the better choice because the more you order, the cheaper the unit price will be. However, if you want a small print run (either a single run or several small runs), digital printing is more cost effective because it requires less setting up before the printing can begin.
The paper available
The printing types also differ in terms of the paper available. If you want to print something onto a more unusual type of paper or a different material, you should probably go for offset printing. However, digital printing is still able to offer a good range of paper options and its capabilities are developing all the time.
If you want a print run completing fast, you should probably turn your attention to digital printing. It is simply much faster to set up than offset printing and since there are fewer processes involved, it is much quicker overall and so is ideal if you’re on a tight turnaround.
Finally, digital printing is also generally considered to be the better option if you are looking for customisable prints, as it is much more versatile and it is easier to allow for changes than with offset printing. This can be useful if you are planning to send out a large number of letters individually addressed to the recipients, for example.
This article was supplied by printed.com, a digital printing suppliers and an accredited member of the Direct Marketing Association.
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