The Difference Between Offset and Digital Printing

What is the difference between offset and digital printing? Is one better than the other? The complicated answer is yes and no. The short answer is that it depends. We are here today to discuss exactly what makes these processes diverse from one another and how their pros and cons come across in printed marketing materials. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the difference between offset and digital printing.

What Is Offset Printing?

Offset printing is a process that many people would consider traditional. This exact process is where printing initially began all those years ago on a printing press with paper and fresh, wet ink. To further explain the process, offset printing produces its print by transferring ink from a metal plate to a rubber sheet, which is then rolled onto a printing surface.

This is a printing method that is specifically “offset” because the ink is not put directly onto the paper. As this type of printing requires more set up time, as well as drying time, the complete process is slower, but it produces the highest quality result for commercial print materials. Hence, if you were in need of a large number of printed materials, this process would be the most beneficial.

What Is Digital Printing?

Digital printing is a process in which ink is directly applied to paper. This is the main difference between offset and digital printing. The process is completely digital, as the chosen image is sent to the printer digitally via an image file from a computer. Digital printing also utilizes toner instead of liquid ink. Toner based printers are more beneficial for shorter print runs, as they are faster and do not require set up fees.

Long Run vs. Short Run

Both of these printing processes are valuable, which is why the pair of them are available options for print clients. Each provides its own advantages and disadvantages for a variety of print projects, but the decision ultimately depends on the print run. If you have any questions about our print processes and want to discuss which option is best for your print job, we can go over any services and techniques more thoroughly.

At House of Printing, we are a commercial print shop that is ready to service any corporate print needs. If your company is in need of same-day printing services in the D.C. or Baltimore area, we are able to ensure timely delivery. Whether your print project is simple or complex, we can produce a gorgeous result that will save you both time and money. Reach out to us today for a quote or to request a print sample.