Offset Printing

Traditional offset printing is a print method that uses aluminum plates to transfer ink onto a rubber sheet (often referred to as a “blanket”) The image is then rolled onto the printing surface. This printing method is considered “offset” is because the ink is not transferred to the paper directly.
This method is generally considered the best option when printing large quantities. Although there is a significant initial cost to set-up the equipment, additional units become relatively less expensive as quantity increases.

Offset printing allows for a wide range of print materials to be used during production. It allows the printer to use different paper types, custom finishes, and a wide variety of inks. The high-quality images produced through offset printing make it the preferred method, especially among graphic designers, when seeking the greatest level of color reproduction, detail, and professional-looking prints. Professional offset printers like this one can precisely recreate colors on a variety of surfaces.

Digital Printing

In digital printing, ink is transferred directly onto the surface. Rather than relying on aluminum plates and rubber blankets to transfer an image, digital printing uses liquid ink during production. Traditional home inkjet printers are one of the most common digital printing methods.

Digital printing requires no manual setup. It’s extremely effective for use with smaller quantity runs. In fact, it is far more cost-effective than offset printing for low volume projects.

Because of the lack of set-up, digital printing is also a quick process, capable of completing projects on short notice or finishing a job when a deadline is quickly approaching. Digital printing also offers maximum customization.

Each piece can be customized, making this method extremely effective if a job needs to have personalized customer names.

Choosing a Printing Method

Though traditional offset printing and digital printing are both extremely useful methods, each possesses a unique set of properties to consider when determining the best method to use.