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16 May 2020

How many and what are the differences between offset and digital printing? The answer to this frequently asked question can be reduced to the minimum terms, but we will not just tell you that one is traditional and the other is more modern. Also because it is not like that at all.

So the fundamental premise of the article you are reading is this: do not be misled by too simplistic definitions, your print project deserves a conscious choice.

Getting ready before sending thousands of flyers and brochures to print is an excellent start. Let's see point by point what are the substantial differences  between these two printing methodologies.

1. The type of machinery used

Before going on to talk about the differences affecting the printed product in and of itself, let's pause for a moment on the machinery that is used.

Offset is a type of indirect printing , which uses a  machine with three cylinders , one of which wraps around an  aluminum sheet  which is  impregnated with the humidifying and inking rollers . The second cylinder is in direct contact with the first and is coated with rubber, a material that allows printing on any type of sheet. When the plate is inked and humidified it passes to the second cylinder which inks itself and prints on the sheet. Offset printers are often also equipped with functions for the final finishing  of the printed product.

Read also: Large Format Plotter: the 5 elements on which the print quality depends

With digital we enter a whole other world. Here we have electronic procedures that allow the sending of files to the machine, without having to resort to plates and matrices . As a rule, files are always checked and arranged before starting printing, which takes place directly on the sheet here.

2. The cost proportionate to the circulation

Warning! Here we talk about costs, not about convenience. The  offset  has the  high initial costs , due to the fact that the machine requires a  preliminary preparation . The plates must be prepared and changed from time to time, and this operation requires time and attention, but the printing procedure then becomes simple and fast. Let's take this long preamble to explain why the offset  may not be convenient  if you have a  small number of copies  to print. If, on the other hand, you have a bigger project on your hands and you need very high print runs, with the offset you will be able to amortize the overall cost. The digital printing services, on the contrary, it does not require  preliminary preparation , therefore the process is much faster.

We started this paragraph by saying that more than costs we want to talk about convenience, which matters much more. For short runs  , digital is an excellent, convenient and quality solution.

3. Colors, sizes and dimensions

Despite the fact that digital printing is very well in the forefront of offset in terms of product quality and final yield, it is only right to dedicate a small parenthesis to colors and formats. Offset printing  , precisely for the following procedure, offers the  possibility to choose from a wide range of shades and colors . When the print is finished, what is striking is the color rendering, characterized by great brilliance and shine .

The digital is a bit 'less flexible from this point of view, because  only print four-color (and in rare cases in six colors) and does not handle all formats, sizes and thicknesses. The combination of colors is limited, but the final rendering does not have a lower quality.

4. Processing times

This point is a direct consequence of what we have seen so far. Offset printing Company in Ghana has more sophisticated mechanisms than digital, therefore it is absolutely not suitable for those who have little time and must have the printed as soon as possible. The digital, however, being more agile and quick, guarantees the very fast delivery times.

Choose well the typography to which you can entrust the printing of your file or project. A good structure, in addition to its reliability, also stands out for its ability to handle requests at the last minute.



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