Digital or Offset Printing: What’s the Difference?

PrintingIn the modern world of printing, we are now faced with an interesting predicament. Should we use digital printing or is offset the way to go? This question is asked many times with businesses and individuals unsure of which way they should go when it comes to printing. Of course each has their pros and cons and there are several things to take into account when trying to make your decision. Let’s explore.

Let us look at digital printing first. When you print digitally, you are looking at cheaper low volume printing as well as a shorter turnaround. You are also given the option of something called “Variable Data Printing”. This allows you to change details within a larger document without stopping the printing process. An example given by Pinsonnault Creative is when printing a personalized letter, variable data printing allows you to change the name and address on each letter. What are the down sides?  Watch out for lower printer quality and limited paper choices when using digital printing.


So what does offset printing have to offer? When you use this method of printing, you have several printing surfaces at your disposal such as paper, plastic, metal, wood, and cloth. As the quantity increases your unit cost will decrease. You will also find a higher image quality versus printing digitally. This method is also more beneficial when printing high volume jobs. While you have more surfaces to work with, you are limited with the colors you can print with. You will also pay more upfront when you use offset printing and it will take up a little more of your time.

Some main points to keep in mind when making your decision are the following:

  • Quantity– How many pieces will you need printed?
  • Color- Do you prefer black and white, or more color?
  • Customization– How individual would you like your pieces to be?

Overall keep in mind that if your quantity is under 500 pieces and you wish for your work to be colorful, digital printing is going to be for you. If you have a higher quantity of pieces and you don’t need them customized, offset printing is the way to go.

At Time Printers Incorporated, we can help you decide which printing method is best for your needs. Call us at 410-566-3005, or come visit us at 227 N. Warwick Ave., Baltimore, MD 21223. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.


This entry was posted on Monday, April 28th, 2014 at 10:18 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.