Offset vs. Digital

Which Printing method is right for your job?

When to Choose Offset Printing

Offset printing, or lithography, takes your chosen image and burns that onto a plate. The image is then transferred, or offset, from the plate onto a rubber blanket, then from there to the printing surface. The process is based on the repulsion of oil and water. The plate is wetted by water, where the image to be printed repels water, but picks up oil-based ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area retains the water, but repels the ink.

  • Best for large quantity runs
  • Lower unit cost as quantity increases
  • Accurate Pantone (PMS) color matching
  • Larger format size pieces
  • More time consuming/ involved setup process
  • Expensive proofing process

Philadelphia Offset Printing

When to Choose Digital Printing

Digital printing is the computerized reproduction method in which your chosen electronic file is printed directly to the printing surface by the machine. The most popular methods of digital printing include inkjet or laser printers that deposit pigment or toner onto a wide variety of substrates including paper, photo paper, canvas, and other materials.

  • Quick turnaround
  • Cheap low volume printing
  • Ability for customized pieces
  • Accurate proofs
  • Pantone (PMS) color matching not accurate
  • Limited Size
  • Digital products cannot be coated.

Philadelphia Digital Printing

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