Digital Printing Vs Offset Printing: Things You Must Know

Digital Printing Vs Offset Printing: Things You Must Know

Print media is one of the most important marketing media which needs to be perfect that will enable to have a great impact on your customers and clients. And if you are planning to get your business cards, brochures, user manuals, posters or any other marketing material to get printed, you must have few things perfectly done which will include great design, an attractive color scheme, and a great layout. Ones all these things are done a major question will pop up your mind- which printing style to opt for- Digital Printing vs Offset Printing? Though both are printing process yet both are far different from each other. And along with the process the price and the final outcome of the print is different too. And to have a better understanding and to take a more informed and firm decision, this article will help you to have a better decision.

In this article, we will cover two different printing techniques and will let you know their differences and benefits and their drawbacks.

What Is Digital Printing All About?

digital printing

Digital printing is the method where printing is done via a digital based image directly to a different media. There are many image formats available today. Digital printing is best for on-demand printing. In short span of time digital print can be accomplished. Digital printing is done using high volume inkjet or laser printers. Digital printing saves labor cost and the increasing demand for digital printing due to better print quality and customized option makes it extremely popular.

Digital printing does not use plates and instead other options are used, such as toner. Digital printing is best even for lesser quantities. If you are planning for printing 100 brochures or 200 visiting cards, then digital printing is the best option. The high-end machinery has the latest technology that ensures the latest commercial digital printing machine in India which can deliver high-quality print finish. The shine and the print of digital printing are simply great. The variable data capability is a great benefit of digital printing. In case of varied prints where each print has a different name or address on it then nothing can be better than digital printing. Whereas in the case of offset printing is a good option for the huge number of prints.

What Is Offset Printing All About?

offset printing

The word “offset” is used as in this print medium direct ink is not transferred over the sheet or print medium. Offset printing is done via aluminum based plates or similar metal plates. For every color different metal plates are used. Each plate has information is set on the plate from the digital image. This plate is further attached to the plate cylinder, and this cylinder will transfer ink to another cylinder that has a rubber sheet on it popularly known as a blanket which rolls on the paper or any other print medium or material that is used a print medium. Before the printing process starts an initial warm-up is done on scrap paper to ensure that the ink has been properly amalgamated on the metal plates.

Advantages of Digital Printing:

  • Excellent image quality
  • The print is consistent throughout and there is no requirement of balancing water and ink.
  • Any count can be published through digital printing
  • Reduces waste prints
  • Customers get more accurate counts and involve less waste.
  • Cost per print is high; however, cheaper with low volume prints.
  • Large format print can be done (exceeding ten feet diameter)
  • Images can be edited as many times, as it doesn’t require making printing plates.
  • Customization can be done while printing and this will not affect the printing process
  • Turnaround time for print is much lesser than offset printing.
  • Digital printing can be done on different mediums such as paper, marble, glass, and metal.

Disadvantages of Digital Printing:

  • Digital printing is a bit costly
  • Digital printing is better for low volume prints
  • In case of marking and scuffing digital prints are vulnerable
  • The print is not so accurate in case of gradients, tints, and large solid areas.
  • Digital print colors get fully absorbed and this means cracks can appear in case of edges that are folded after finished publication.

Advantages of Offset Printing:

  • Top-notch image quality
  • Cost-effective for high volume prints
  • Wide variety of colors are available such as foils, Pantone, fluorescence, varnish
  • Offset printing can be done on various material- paper, plastic, fabric, wood, metal, leather, etc.
  • Special inks can be added for effects
  • Superior quality print without any spots or streaks.

Disadvantages of Offset Printing:

  • For any minor change new set of plates need to be made
  • Not effective for low volume jobs as the cost will be high in this case
  • For cost-effectively printing quantity need to be high
  • For initial arrangement manpower, time and cost is involved
  • Time taking the process and cannot be delivered instantly

Technologies Used In Digital Printing Vs Offset Printing

The technology used in digital printing equipment and offset printing equipment is totally different. The technology is the main key point that creates time and price difference. In digital printing equipment, electrostatic rollers are known as “drums” are used to apply toner on the print medium i.e. paper. These drums are printed on “one per color” basis and an electrostatic charge attracts the toner in the mode or form of toner density. This toner is applied onto the sheet and is fused by passing it through high heat unit on the paper. Digital printing equipment can easily print booklets with a small or minimal setup. In case of offset printing equipment requires time to do so due to its set up time.

In offset printing, etched metal plates are used to apply ink on the paper. And this process takes significant time. The metal plates with one color each time is etched and further applied to the roller to transfer the ink on the medium. And few scraps need to be run so that the plates get properly inked. This process is also known as “wrap up”. This takes time, which makes the offset process slower.

Digital printing equipment generally runs smaller sheets than offset machines. Typical 19” up to 29 “sheets are printed via digital printing machine. In case of offset, the sheet size can go up to 40” So in case of wide dimensional printing offset printing is the best option.

Digital prints are affordable for those who need a change in design and content frequently. In this case, Offset is expensive. Digital printing has accurate proof. Turnaround time for digital printing is faster than offset. In case of color printing for 4 colors printing digital print is cost-effective, whereas for a single color print offset is cost effective.

The mode which you need to choose either digital or offset, completely depends on the volume, quality, time limit and budget that you have. You have to list your requirements as per the guidelines mentioned above and that will help you to take your decision. In case you have a high volume requirement then in that case traditional offset printing can be a good option for you as this will be cost effective. Though the time frame will be longer as time is required to set the plates and to prepare the other printing set up, still the cost gets drastically reduced. The traditional printing process is a bit slower and costly in case of low volume jobs. Digital printing is the best option in case of low volume and quick print jobs.

CGSASP is one of the leading pioneers in the domain of digital printing equipment. They are the market leaders when it comes to digital printing and packaging companies in India. CGSASP brings high-quality digital printing machine in India and is available at the best price. To know more or to order the latest digital printing equipment, please contact- CGSASP-


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