Digital vs. Offset Printing: Which is Right for Your Project?

Vocabulary

Digital vs. Offset Printing: Which is Right for Your Project?

If you’re a photographer or visual artist, you’ve probably heard the terms digital printing and offset printing. It’s not necessarily a matter of digital vs. offset printing, but more so understanding the unique advantages of each.

Advantages of Digital Printing

  • Lower setup costs: Commercial print shops are essentially using the same digital printing technology as desktop printers, but on a much larger scale with many more options and higher quality materials.
  • Print only what you need: Since there are usually no or low minimums required for a print run, digital printing is a cost-effective option for low-quantity and premium-quality projects.
  • Variable data: Variable data is when you have unique text or imagery for an individual print within a run. For instance, if you’re a photographer and you want to send a holiday greeting to your customer base, you can print with variable data such as each individual customer’s name, to customize your message.

Advantages of Offset Printing

  • Large quantities can be printed more effectively: Unlike digital printing, the more you print offset (essentially, the larger your order), the lower the cost. However, due to the time it takes to set up the printing plates, offset printing does tend to be more expensive than digital printing at lower quantities.
  • Wider range of stock and custom finishes: Offset printing affords many more opportunities for exclusive card stock or finishes that contain uncommon colors and effects, such as metallic. If you’re trying to achieve a more elegant piece, consider offset printing.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • How many do I need?
  • Who is it going to?
  • What am I trying to accomplish?

These three questions are a great start to your print project. Write down your answers, and then contact us at Duggal for a world of options at your fingertips. We have been working with creative professionals like you for more than 50 years!