Offset vs. Digital Printing


The two most common commercial printing technologies that are in use today, offset and digital.  Offset printing has been around since the early 1900′s and involves a mechanical process of applying layers of ink to paper. There are usually four different sets of rollers that transfer ink with the help of a plate. The artwork is color separated into four different colors, cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Each plate transfers one of the colors to build layers of ink to form the final image.

Digital printing eliminates the many steps involved in the offset method such as creating separations  plates, press setup and clean up. Digital can print a full color image in one pass with the same accuracy as a offset press and it can do it economical.  Since digital doesn’t have all the extra steps, short run printing can be accomplished for a fraction of what it would cost to run the same amount on a offset press.  With the technology of digital printing you almost can’t tell the difference between digital and offset.

Offset printing is best for long run color printing where digital can take up all the short run printing, or your just in time printing needs.

Many different considerations will determine which method is best such as quantity and timing and the size of the printed piece. ABC Printing & Graphics takes the guess work and we can print your job the most economical way to get your job done on time and under budget.