Understanding the differences between Digital and Offset Print enables you to tap into the benefits to be achieved from using the most suitable technique dependent on the job requirements being produced.
So what is right for you?
When choosing whether digital or offset printing is right for you there are 5 categories to consider.
Digital: Method of printing from a digital based image directly to a variety of media. During this process the printing sheet will only pass through the ink jets once to produce the desired image.
Offset: Method of printing where images on metal plates are transferred (offset) to rubber blankets or rollers and then to the print media. During this process the number of times the sheet passes through the ink jets is dependent on how many colours are being printed to achieve the final desired image.
More effective for small quantity print runs (this
is due to the minimal set up costs involved)
Perfect for quantities up to 1,000 units.
How many pages am I trying to print?
More effective for large quality prints (as the
unit cost goes down the quantity goes up)
Ideal for quantities greater than 1,000 units
• Digital printers are ideal when quick
turnarounds are a priority
• There is less time involved in setting up
the printers for print
How quickly do I need this done? Do I have time to wait for the printer to be set up?
Offset printers are not as ideal when
quick turnarounds are a priority.
Uses a four-colouring printing process,
traditionally a combination of Cyan (blue),
Magenta (red), Yellow, and Black.
• Ideal when colours printed do not need
to be exact match to corporate/branding
colours (the final colour after being
digitally printed will not be solid).
• Colour varies between print jobs.
Do I need a wide selection of colour or will the traditional four-colour printing process be enough?
• Use of solid Pantone® colours in line with
the global Pantone® Matching System
(PMS), therefore not a combination of
• Printing using solid Pantone colours will
ensure that the final printed document
is an exact match and there is NO colour
variations between print jobs..
Various jobs with variable data can be
printed together in one print run because:
• Printing method consisting of a digitalbased
image printed on variety of media
• Variation of images equating to a
combination of CMYK to deliver desired
Do I want special paper, finish or unusual printing surface or unique size?
Only one job kind (artwork) can be printed
at one given time because:
• Printing method consisting of set up of
metal plate per artwork to be printed
• Each job needs to be managed separately
unless multiple jobs all comply with the
same Pantone® colour/s being printed.