Digital or Offset Printing: Which should you choose?

There are two main types of printing methods used today for most promotional print and marketing, Digital and Offset printing.

Which is the best choice for your print project? Take a look at the pros and cons of each and when you might need to use them.

Digital Printing

Digital printing is ideal for on-demand printing with smaller quantities of single sheet flyers, brochures, postcards and variable data printing.

Because a digital printer outputs each page with the ink dried and ready for use or bindery services, digital printing is ideal for single copies or small numbers of large documents are printed as they are ordered. Often orders are time sensitive, and set up costs to print small quantities any other way would be prohibitive.

If you are printing less than 2000 copies of a flyer for example, digital printing will generally work out cheaper, since there is no paper waste and set up is relatively cheap.

Direct mail is often personalized for the recipient as with postcards and newsletters. This can only be achieved on a digital printer. Variable data printing can include personalized images, text blocks or graphics, and can increase direct mail response rates as high as 35%, compared to the 1-4% response rate from traditional ‘static’ postcards making it much easier to increase your return on investment.

Offset Printing

Offset printing typically uses wet inks that need to dry before binding, cutting or folding to avoid smudging the print. This is more suited to larger scale print runs with an appropriate timeframe. Since a large part of the cost involved in offset printing is in the set up rather than materials, you can benefit from economies of scale if you need to print higher quantities.

Offset printers can 5 to 10 times the speed of a typical digital printer. Once the job is set up, it can be completed much faster than with a digital printer. However, offset presses typically print multiple pages on a single sheet, which then need to dry, making it unsuitable for rush orders. That’s why offset printing is better for bulk print orders, and those where time isn’t too important.

Omega Printing offers both digital printing and traditional offset printing so no matter when you need your next printing project, we can get it done on time and at a low cost. Click here to request an estimate today!