GH Apparel | GH Printing | GH Apparel | GH Packaging | GH Sports

Monday, April 7, 2014

Digital Printing vs Offset Printing

When someone says they need to get something printed, it sounds simple. There are two different types of printing methods typically used to put ink on paper. They are offset printing and digital printing, both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the scope of the job or project. We'll go into detail about when you should use offset printing and when you should use digital printing based on the scope of your project.

Offset Printing

Offset printing is a process that involves transferring an image from a plate, to a rubber blanket, then to the paper. Offset printing is used for magazines, newspapers, brochures, stationary, booklets, etc. It is the ideal print solution when you need a large volume and high quality print. Offset presses have four print heads that each contain a different color of ink. On a four-color press, one print head contains Cyan ink, another contains Magenta ink, another contains yellow ink and the another contains black ink. Hence, CMYK color profile for print. Once print files are received, they are "ripped", which produces four-color negative plates, one plate for each color. In reality we are digitally separating your file into these plates to setup for the offset printing process. Once we affix your plates to the print heads each with it's own color, we then align the plates and begin printing your job.

Digital Printing

Digital printing uses a digital based image to print it directly onto paper. Digitally printing doesn't require changing plates, this allows a faster turn-around time and a lower cost, but there can be a slight loss of fine image detail. Digital printing is the ideal solution for lower quantity runs because you don't have to pay for plate set-up fees. Digital printing is also used for variable data, which allows you to personalize each print to the person who will receive them.

Offset Printing
  • Low Cost Large Runs
  • Spot Color Matching
  • High Image Quality
  • Works on many different materials
  • More expensive and time consuming

Digital Printing
  • Low Cost Short Runs
  • Variable Data
  • Less Steps
  • Allows for customization
If you have questions whether your job requires offset printing or digital printing, give us a call (800.456.8238) or submit a QuickQuote on our website  – we'll be happy to help!
Post a Comment