13th June 2024

Difference between digital and offset print

Printing is a very regular and a common thing. This plays a very integral part in a lot of industry. For print customers there is a huge difference in between the digital printing and the offset printing. It is said that for short run printing the digital print is a much better option but when it comes to high volume printing then offset printing is the only answer to it.

When it comes to printing online India both of these printing types can produce some really high quality prints and they are actually professional quality printing which are used for business purposes. The only thing why one chooses one from the two is only because of the volume they have to print and if there are some particular project requirements.

There are also some other differences like the colour capabilities and the size of the sheets also differ when it comes to offset and digital printing. 

Here are the different technologies that are used in these printing processes. The major difference is the way that the images get transferred to the paper after printing. 

The offset printing process mainly uses etched metal plates that can apply ink onto the sheet of paper. The setup for the offset printing is very significant and time consuming. It is also more expensive as compared to the digital printing process.  Here metal plates are used and one plate is used for each colour. They are needed to be etched and then applied to the rollers that can transfer the ink to the paper. Then the press has to run for a few minutes on those scrap sheets of paper till the plates get inked properly. These sheets are eventually thrown away later.

On the other hand, when it comes to digital printing, then people use electrostatic rollers which are also known as drums. They apply the toner on the paper; one per each colour that is being printed. There is a use of electrostatic charge which mainly attracts the toner in the form of the toner density. The toner is then applied on the sheet and fused together to be passed through a high heat unit on the paper.

When it comes to digital printing, then they can easily print out one sheet of the paper or a booklet in a very minimal set up. But in case of offset printing there is a requirement of a proper set up and materials that are not minimal. But yes, the ink and the sheet of paper used in an offset printing process is a bit cheaper than those used in a digital printing process.

One can only go for an offset printing if one is making a few thousand copies of a particular sheet. Like if one needs to get 500 copies of a catalogue printed which has more than 50 pages each then they can easily go for a digital printing process because it is just 500 copies.

There are many businesses which are constantly going for print contents and hence they keep on opting for digital printing very often. But if in a business there is a need for print in a huge volume then one needs to opt for the offset printing.

Here are some other major differences between the two:

  • The sheet size is different when it comes to digital printing and printing offset. The digital prints have smaller sheets as compared to the offset printing.
  • In some cases the dimensional print size in important but the print volume does not call for an offset print and so most people have to turn to digital printing because of the wide format press it has.
  • Then comes the colour representation. Each and every piece of printing always requires different representations and control over the colour. Offset printing can control over a few colours and those are superior than that of digital printing. They have a proper colour consistency and they also need a considerable amount of money.
  • When it comes to digital printing then it can offer some incredible and great turnaround because they can be done in a set up which requires minimal time. There are shops that offer digital printing and then can deliver the prints the very same day or utmost the next day because the printing is done in a very fast and efficient manner. That is why; more printing shops go for digital print set ups. On the other hand, the offset print requires a large set up and it takes time to print.

Hence, one knows which printing process to choose when they need something to print. Regular printing process has a good digitisation now but if it needs a good and string outcome and that too in a large amount then offset print is still the solution.