Digital vs Offset Printing.
At Printing Brooklyn, we offer both digital printing and offset printing services. These are the two most common methods of printing. Both digital and offset printing differ in their technique and application and have advantages depending on the materials, size and quantities of your print run.
Digital Printing is an electronic form of printing which involves laser writing of an image to a surface using a rotating drum to apply the ink. Digital Printing is most commonly used in small print runs as it is much faster and easier to setup offset printing presses, which allows digital printing to be extremely cost effective. One big advantage of digital printing is ‘variable data’. Variable data involves printing a document with different texts or images per item. An example of variable data is business envelopes with a new address on each.
The Offset printing process is when the image is transferred from a metal plate attached to a rubber roller which is then applied to the printing medium. The rubber rollers (or rubber blankets) conform to the printing surface which gives a very sharp and detailed final image.
Offset printing gives a very consistent high-quality result and can print all Pantone and PMS color systems. The offset printing presses require a lengthy setup of cylinders and plates as well as a preliminary printing run to allow for quality control. Due to the steps involved in setup and test runs, offset printing is more cost-effective in large scale printing runs – common products include books, magazines, catalogs and press. Offset printing can be applied to a wide range of printing surfaces such as plastic, metal, cloth and even wood.
Digital Printing Advantages
- Setup costs are low
- Small runs are cheaper than offset printing
- Variable Data is available
- Fast turnarounds
Offset Printing Advantages
- A consistent high quality finish (even on large runs)
- Ideal for large runs & large paper sizes
- Cheaper than digital printing for large printing runs
- Prints on many surfaces including metal, wood, cloth & plastic
|Digital Printing||Offset Printing|
|TECHNIQUE||Electronic printing||Mechanical printing|
|QUANTITY||Low setup costs. Cost-effective for small runs.||Lengthy setup process. Cost-effective for large scale runs.|
|QUALITY||Lower durability. More susceptible to scratching.||Durable and resistant print results|
|SIZE||Limited size of paper stock. Suited to small sized materials.||Suitable for both small and large-sized materials. Able to print on large paper sizes.|