We handle all the technical details of your printing at Adelaide’s Newstyle Print, but it definitely helps to know the basics. Knowing the difference between digital and offset printing will give you some direction that we can then translate into your perfect print job. Let’s take a look at the major differences between offset print and digital print.
Offset printing is the more traditional style of printing that uses plates to transfer your print image onto paper. In most cases, these plates are made of aluminum, which transfers easily to rubber. Rubber is then used to roll the image on your final paper.
There are advantages to both offset and digital printing, and neither is a bad choice.
Offset printing does not transfer any ink directly from any material onto paper. Because the ink does not have to move, this makes offset printing incredibly accurate, especially when it comes to colour printing.
Digital printing does not use plates like offset printing. In order to replicate your image, digital printing methods include using a toner or liquid ink.
Digital printing also has the ability to reproduce variable data, while offset printing cannot. Your original work can contain ‘placeholders’ for variables such as names and addresses. A digital print can replicate the work and place a new name and address on each separate print in a single run.
The Advantages of Offset Printing
Offset printing requires no change from an analogue to a digital format. The result is a much more truthful representation of the original work. If you are looking for the highest possible print quality, offset printing is the way to go. Not only will you enjoy greater fidelity in your reprinted colours, you will also have the greatest amount of detail available based on the technology being used.
Offset printing is great for large quantity print jobs. The cost also falls drastically if you order in bulk. Offset printing also allows for the greatest variety in paper and finish on your final piece. You can take advantage of great looking custom inks as well, including Pantone colours and eye catching metallic inks.
The Advantages of Digital Printing
Digital printing is the choice for short print runs or runs that you may need to come back to in the future. Your original can be saved at a minimal cost, allowing short run prints at any time without any new setup fees.
Although offset is generally considered the top quality choice, new technology continues to make digital quality an acceptable alternative for commercial and professional use.
Should I Choose Offset or Digital Printing?
There are advantages to both offset and digital printing, and neither is a bad choice. The technology that we use at Newstyle Print reduces the cost of your offset printing while raising the quality of your digital prints to the cutting edge of the market.
Choose your printing style based on the volume of prints that you need – as well as the look. You may want to choose offset if you are creating prints for an artistic or personal need. Digital prints at high quality are great for commercial use, especially if you are printing out something like invitations or RSVPs. The variable data capabilities of a digital print will keep you from having to create an original for each unit that you want to send.
Digital printing is a more flexible standard for low print runs. If you are printing thousands of pieces, then you may need to go with offset printing in order to maintain the quality standard of the entire run.
Let your eyes do the talking for you. If you notice a difference in your prints that you can’t quite put your finger on, trust your instincts. Remember that you are the one who has to live with your print decision over the long term. When in doubt, ask. The more solutions that you get up front, the easier that your decision will be on the back end.
Finally, if you want a specific ink that only works with offset, then use offset. There are certain looks that may only be achieved with one print style or the other.
Newstyle Print Can Help
At Newstyle Print, we can give you examples of both types of printing – just ask. If you are confused about any aspect of offset or digital printing, it is always best to simply view the final product firsthand. An informed decision is always the best decision.
We also provide competitive pricing for both print types, so don’t worry about having to choose one or the other because of your budget. Newstyle is all about getting you your best work and earning your long term business.
For printing that South Australia trusts, come to Newstyle Print. Over the past 40 years, we have built a reputation for printing in Adelaide at its best regardless of the job. Give us a call with any questions or to start your next print job!
Do you prefer digital or offset printing? Let us know in the comments below.