Digital Printing vs Offset Printing – Pt2

Welcome back to your discussion about Digital Vs. Offset Printing. We have already discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each form of printing. Now lets talk about which option is right for you.

Use this checklist to help you decide.

Quantity. Offset printing has a front-end cost load due to setups that are involved. Short runs may have a high unit cost, but as quantities increase, the unit cost goes down with offset printing. Very short runs can be much more cost effective with digital printing; while larger quantities are likely to have a lower unit cost with offset printing. Determining your quantity will help you figure out which option is best.

Printing medium. Do you need or want a special paper, finish or unusual printing surface, or unique size? The options are increasing continually for digital, but offset printing still offers the most flexibility. Most digital machines have the capability of printing 12×18 media sizes.  At we have the capabilities to print up to 13×26 which helps with those projects that once needed to be done offset.

Colour. Digital presses use four-colour process printing. If you need only black ink or one or two ink colours, offset printing may offer a more cost-effective solution. If you need four-colour printing, digital may offer advantages in lower up-front costs.

More on colour. If you’re planning to print using the Pantone® Matching System(specific colours to keep your branding looking consistent), offset printing will give you the best match, since it uses actual Pantone® ink. Digital printing simulates the colour using a four-colour matching process, so some digital printers may offer less accurate colour matching on projects.  With the addition of Pantone colours comes additional cost.

Turnaround. If you need it fast, digital usually offers quicker delivery time.

Proofing. Digital offers accurate proofs since you see an actual sample of the printed piece. Accurate colour proofing for offset printing can be a little more expensive.

Customization. Digital printing offers the most affordable way to customize marketing materials, direct mail pieces, letters, etc.

You can use the above checklist to help you decide or feel free to to consult with our team at   We are here to assist you with your questions and would be happy to offer our expert advice on preparing files properly for the option you choose.

In closing, while today’s digital presses are close to the cost/benefit ratio of offset for high quality work, they are not yet able to compete with the volume an offset press can produce.

Until next time… stay creative