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Offset Print vs Digital Print

Published: 31 March 2016
Offset Print vs Digital Print

Offset Print vs Digital Print in the Modern Era

The greatest debate in the print industry today! However it only takes one to sit down and look at the pros and cons of both to decide this isn't a debate at all.

Offset printing has been around since the dawn of time (print industry time that is), and for almost a century it has been the 'go-to' for everything commercial. We're talking newspapers, magazines, brochures, advertisements, posts cards, you name it chances are, prior to the 1990s, it was printed with an offset printer.

The new kid on the block, the digital printer, turned up at our offices in the early 90's. The main difference between the two was that now, with the digital printer every impression could be different, as opposed to having several hundred impressions to form the same image. What was more remarkable was that the quality of the prints were incredibly similar, thus begging the question what is right for my print job, offset print or digital print?

When should I use offset printing?

Have you got a big print job in the pipeline? Are you a larger entity who requires larger runs? Looking for something a bit fancy?

Offset printing is mostly used for the bigger jobs. As a rule of thumb, we find a minimum of 500 is the magic number for offset printing. You see, the more you print, the cheaper the price per piece. This is perfect for direct mail send outs, large quantities of brochures at events, large orders of business cards etc.

Ever seen a shiny, metallic-looking business card, or a raised graphic on a poster? Yep, that was done with an offset printer.

When should I use digital printing?

Digital printers are now there for our day-to-day needs. Early digital printers weren't up to the same standard that offset printers had set, but now it is near impossible for an untrained eye to tell the difference.

Digital printing is for short runs. Anything that falls under our benchmark of 500 copies is a job for our digital printers. This will keep the costs down and is also great for black and white printing. 

When you're deciding what's best for your print job, always speak to your local Snap Centre to help you make this decision. There is a crossover point where one method of printing will be cheaper than the other, and your Snap consultant will be able to tell you when it's a good idea to make that change. All the best from the Snap team.

Author:Snap Marketing
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