• Feb
  • 26
  • 2015

Digital Print or Offset Print: Which is Best?



Digital printing technology’s growth has brought with it a number of technical advancements, additional options, and several new features relating to the present day commercial printing market.  With the advancements in digital printing has come a bit of confusion.  Trying to understand the pros and cons of digital printing as they compare and relate to the traditional offset process is vital for people to make the right printing choice.



Offset Lithography is Most Common

Offset lithography is usually used when the requirements need a large amount of commercial printing.  When using the offset lithography printing process, workers burn the print image onto a plate, which is then offset from that plate onto a rubber blanket, and then finally onto the printing surface.  Offset lithography printing is based upon the repelling of oil and water.  The printed image uses ink from rollers, and the areas not printed upon attract water, keeping the latter areas free of ink.

Digital Printing Eliminates Mechanical Steps

Choosing digital printing will eliminate many mechanical steps used in offset lithography printing.  These steps include the making of films, color proofs, stripping together pieces of the image, and finally making the plates needed to offset the image to the printing surface.

The Prefered Printing Method Depends on the Task

In order to determine whether digital printing or offset lithography printing will work best, it is vital to examine the pros and cons of both printing methods.

Digital Printing Advantages


  • Quicker turnaround time
  • Prints do not differ, less waste, fewer variations, more accurate counts
  • Cheaper for lower volume printing
  • Can be used for individualized variable data printing

Offset Lithography Printing Advantages

  • High-quality images
  • Works on a variety of printing surfaces
  • As quantity increases, unit costs decrease
  • Newer offset printing presses utilize new computer to plate systems further increasing the image quality

For more information comparing digital printing to offset lithography printing, you can continue learning here.