Digital vs. offset printing: which is right for your project?

digital vs. offset

There are many decisions to make when it’s time to get some printing done. Which stock to use? Which colours? What size? The questions and options seem endless. One of the biggest decisions is whether to produce the job using digital or offset printing. Which is the better fit for your project?

Benefits of Digital Printing

  • Ideal for short runs. For jobs of fewer than 750 pieces, it’s better for your budget to stick with digital.
  • Have your print in your hands ASAP. It’s faster to set up a job for digital printing and there’s no drying time, so the turnaround is quick!
  • Accurate and affordable proofs. It’s much easier and cheaper to see a proof of a digital file so you can have an accurate vision of what the end product will look like.
  • Customization. Make your print stand out by using variable data printing. Digital printing is perfect for personalized print and direct mail.
  • Use it for: Flyers, direct mail, newsletters, postcards, nametags, brochures, and booklets.

Benefits of Offset Printing 

  • It’s cheaper the more you print. Since the setup process is more involved, offset printing is cost effective for runs of more than 750 copies. This makes it great for things such as business cards and stationery.
  • Amazing quality. Almost all presses now use computer-to-plate technology, which offers superior quality and a higher resolution over the old computer-to-film system. It features a variety of ink options, so it can produce gradients, vibrant colours, and metallics.
  • Get the perfect match. Using the Pantone matching system, offset printing allows you to achieve consistency in your colour choices to keep your brand colours true.
  • More flexibility. Offset printing offers more selection for substrates (paper, plastic, canvas, foil, mylar, and more), inks (such as metallic or fluorescent ink), and size. As well, you can get fancy with your finishing with options such as custom cutting and UV coating.
  • Use it for: Business cards, posters, invoice forms, letterhead, and stationery.

Which print process is superior?

It really depends on the job! If you’re looking to do something quickly, at a lower cost and volume, then digital is the way to go. However, if you want to invest in some extra quality and are printing a large run, then you’ll want to go with offset. Either one won’t leave you disappointed!  If you need help deciding what’s best for your next job, contact your closest TPH branch and we’ll be happy to help!

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