Digital Printing vs Offset Printing

What Is Digital Printing?

Unlike offset printing and other commercial methods that require printing plates and presses, digital printing prints directly from the digital file sent to an inkjet, laser, or other types of digital printer.

So what are the benefits of Digital printing:

  • It can be less expensive and less time-consuming for producing short runs and doing smaller print-on-demand jobs.
  • Eliminates the expense of plate-making and setting up the presses.
  • Makes it easier and less expensive to make last-minute changes to a print job or print multiple variations.
  • File preparation is usually simpler and thus, image can be edited many time since doesn't require printing plates.
  • High image quality.
  • Consistency across all prints, as there’s no need of balancing ink and water

So which is better one is better?

Depending on the type of project you're printing, digital printing is typically the best choice when you're printing fewer than 500 to 1,000 pieces; and offset printing is typically the best choice when you're printing more than 500 to 1,000 pieces.  Offset printing is more cost efficient and the best choice when larger quantities are needed, and provides accurate color reproduction, and crisp, clean professional looking printing. 

Disadvantages of Digital Printing:

  • Digital prints are vulnerable to marking and scuffing.
  • Less accurate tints, gradients and large solid areas of color.
  • Not cost efficient for high volume prints.
  • Digital printer inks aren’t fully absorbed into the print paper, which means cracks can appear in the colour near edges when folded in a finished publication.

Disadvantages of Offset Printing:

  • Even for a minor change in the image, a new set of metal plates has to be prepared.
  • To make it cost-effective, printing quantity must be high.
  • Significant cost, time and man-power required to make the initial arrangements.
  • Turnaround time tend to be longer as ink needs to be dried before finishing