Offset Printing vs Digital Printing
To most people printing is printing. Whatever the method used, the end result is the same. You may have heard the terms “offset printing” and “digital printing” and wondered what offset vs digital printing means. Are they one and the same or fundamentally different? Here is a look at offset printing vs digital printing.
What is offset printing?
Offset printing is a printing technique in which an inked image is transferred from a metal plate, usually aluminum, to a rubber “blanket” and then from there to the printing surface, which can be paper or other materials. The term “offset” refers to the fact that the image is not directly transferred to the printing surface. It is often used in combination with the popular lithographic process, which works on the principle that water and oil repel each other.
Setting up the printer for offset printing is generally more time consuming than digital printing. Several metal plates have to be etched, one for each color, and applied to the rollers. Then the press has to be run for a few minutes to allow time for the plates to be inked properly. In the modern web printing process, large reels of paper, each of several meters, are continuously fed through the press machine. This makes offset printing the better choice for bulk printing.
Offset printing is also the better choice for commercial printing because it offers accurate color reproduction and very professional looking printouts.
What is digital printing?
Digital printers are either inkjet printers or dry toner-based printers. Inkjet printers print text and images by spraying minuscule jets of ink onto the paper. Dry toner-based printers, also called laser printers, use electrostatically charged rollers, commonly referred to as drums, to apply toner (ink) onto the printing paper.
So the main difference between offset printing and digital printing is that there are no metal plates in the latter. As you may have guessed, plates cost money and setting them up consumes a lot of time. This means that digital printing is faster and more economical, but only for small quantities. As the volume increases so does the cost per piece of paper, which makes it expensive for bulk printing.
Digital printing is the better choice for homes and offices where small quantities of documents need to be printed frequently on short notice.
Offset printing vs digital printing
Here is how offset printing and digital printing measure up to each other: Offset printing is more economical for large quantities. Cost per piece goes down as the quantity increases. Digital printing is cheaper for small qualities. Cost per piece goes up as the quantity increases.
- Offset printing is more economical for large quantities. Cost per piece goes down as the quantity increases. Digital printing is cheaper for small qualities. Cost per piece goes up as the quantity increases.
- Offset printing supports a large variety of paper types with a variety of custom finishes. No such luck with digital printing.
- Offset printing offers the highest printing quality with high clarity and color definition. Digital printing doesn’t quite measure up.
- Offset printing is only for large quantities. Digital printing allows you to print only one page if you want to.
In the offset printing vs digital printing debate, both are winners in their own respective areas. Offset printing is good for high-quality, commercial bulk printing while digital printing is good for small quantities of printing in homes and offices.
Are you looking an experienced highly reputable printing company to service either your offset printing or digital printing? At Hawk Graphics Inc we are what you are looking for.
We are located in NJ but provide complete quick printing services across the states. Contact Hawk Graphics Inc. today for all of your commercial printing needs.
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