It’s important to understand the differences and how it impacts the cost of printing your project.
Simply put, traditional offset printing utilizes metal printing plates, cylinders, rollers, and a rubber blanket to transfer images to the paper. The ink adheres to the printing plate, transfers to the blanket, which then transfer to the sheet. Offset printing is great for when you want to print larger quantities, say 1,000 or more of letterhead or envelopes. Moreover, if your company logo uses a PMS (Pantone) color to ensure brand consistency, offset printing is the way to go. Once the printing press is set up, it’s a highly efficient process for long print runs.
Digital printing is a newer technology that uses an electrical charge and heat to adhere the image to the sheet. It’s the best solution for printing smaller quantities in full color, say 50 or more of a postcard or brochure. In addition, digital printing allows for variable data printing (VDP). VDP is defined as unique data for each sheet printed such as consecutive numbering, barcodes, names, addresses and even pictures. Digital printing allows for vibrant CMYK printing of short print runs, with minimal set-up costs.