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What are Digital Printing and Offset Printing?

Different methods have been practiced in book printing over the years; these are digital printing and offset printing. But what are the differences between the two?

Digital Printing

Digital printing was formerly referred to as 'copying,' but that word has become obsolete. Today, the overwhelming majority of digital printing is produced directly from computer files rather than from a hard copy original. Digital printing is the most efficient method of making small runs, mainly when there are many originals. Digital printing has progressed to a point where it is on par with offset printing in terms of quality. While digital printing works well on the majority of stocks today, there are still specific papers and tasks that need offset printing. Additionally, there are some stocks and functions for which digital printing performs as well as or better than offset printing.

Offset Printing

It is also referred to as traditional offset printing, accomplished on a printing press using printing plates and wet ink. This kind of printing takes somewhat longer to complete since additional setup time is required, and the final product must dry before finishing can begin. Simultaneously, offset printing has historically produced the best quality prints on the most extensive range of materials and allows for the most significant degree of color control. Additionally, offset printing is the most cost-effective method for creating vast quantities of reproductions from a few originals.

Digital Printing Vs. Offset Printing

The offset printing technique utilizes plates, often made of metal, to transfer an image to a rubber "blanket". It is then rolled onto a sheet of paper. The term "offset" refers to the fact that the ink is not immediately transferred to the paper. Due to the efficiency with which offset presses operate once set up, offset printing is ideal when big numbers are required. It also produces correct color reproduction and crisp, clean professional-looking printing.

Digital printing does not utilize plates in the same manner as offset printing does, but rather toner (as with laser printers) or bigger printers that use liquid ink. Digital printing excels when small runs of greeting cards or flyers are required; consider a run of 20 greeting cards or 100 flyers. Another advantage of digital printing is its capacity to handle changeable data. When each item requires a unique code, name, or address, only digital is an option. Offset printing is unable to meet this need. Learn more about the choices and capabilities of digital printing.

While offset printing is an excellent method for producing high-quality print projects, many companies and individuals do not need big print runs of 500 or more, and digital printing is the best option.

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