Digital Printing vs Offset Printing – Which is Best?

By | May 1, 2017

New printers are often confused between choosing offset printing and digital printing. Before going with any printing technology, read their differences so that you could churn out the maximum profit from your return on investment.

Digital printing and offset printing are the two most frequently used terms in printing arena. Both are prolific and hugely used. Well, there remains confusion among the first-timers about whether to go with digital printing press or offset printing press.

On this context, given below is a comparative study on both the printing types, their basic differences, advantages, etc, based on which you can easily decide which technolgy is best digital or offset lithography.

Also check – Second Hand Offset Machines

Offset Printing and its mechanism:


Offset printing is based on the usage of plates. These plates for offset printing are made up of aluminum, and are used for transferring a picture over a rubber cover, and then passing the same image over a sheet. The reason behind it being termed as the offset printing is that here the ink is not passed straight over the sheet. It takes comparatively more time to set-up the offset printing.

This is obvious as one plate is used for each color, which has to be etched, and as explained, has to be rolled through the rollers for ink transfer to the sheets. In fact, it is essential the printing process to occur initially on rough sheets, until the plates are thoroughly inked. These rough sheets though are thrown away.  

Offset printing is one of the finest choices in those occasions where the printing need is in bulk. Or, if the client demands best quality color output maintaining the utmost professional standard, offset printing is always the recommendation.

Digital Printing and its mechanism:


No plate is used in case of digital printing as of offset printing machine. Rather, here the toners are used as it is seen being used in case of the laser printers, or the high-end printers where ink is not used. Digital printing basically makes use of the electrostatic rollers, also known as the drums for toner applying over the sheet or paper.

One drum is used for each color, which make use of the electrostatic charge that drives toner as of toner density. Next, the toner is applied over the sheet and then fused, being transferred through a high temperature unit over a paper. In contrast with the offset printing, digital printing becomes a perfect recommendation if the quantity of requirement is lesser. In addition, digital printing has been advantageous in many occasions for its variable data ability.

In those occasions where every piece demands an explicit code, name or destination, digital printing is a handy option to go with; offset printing indeed can’t fulfill such requirements. In short, if your requirement is lesser, digital printing is always a better choice from expense point of views, despite the fact that offset printing always promise a better quality.

Advantages of Digital Printing:

As explained above, digital printing is always a cost-effective option for its minimal setup cost. Hence, Digital printing is always a perfect choice for small amount of requirements or in lesser runs. It gives you the flexibility of printing only as much as you require, or when you require. In fact, you can keep the number of prints any lower as per your requirement.

When it comes about the cost effective black and white printing needs, only the digital printing can fulfill the demands. For their variable data ability, it is easy to set name, locations, and numbering easily as desired. Moreover, digital printing is technologically much more advanced, which is the reason that these are highly used at the commercial sectors.

Advantages of Offset Printing:

Offset printing is indeed the most cost-effective option available if the printing requirement is in bulk. In fact, more is the number of prints required, lesser becomes the price. However, the biggest advantage of offset printing is its greater applicability. Offset printing can be done with the highest variety of paper types.

When it comes about fulfilling the client’s wish of customized design, only offset printing can do the job. This is so as the explicit custom inks like metallic and Pantone colors can be used with offset printing only. Ultimately, if you are uncompromising about print quality, shades and patterns, still want the orders delivered within minimal time, offset printing becomes the best recommendation for you.


As explained above, both digital printing and offset printing have their own advantages. If you want better quality and bulk delivery, offset printing is a fine choice. And, when the requirement is low, needed to be cost-effective, moreover are black and white or prints those don’t emphasize much on articulacy, digital printing becomes a fine choice.

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