There’s been a lot of buzz in recent years about digital printing, and it’s true that this method can provide quite a few cost-saving benefits to small business in particular. But old-fashioned offset printing, in which a custom plate is used to apply ink to the desired surface, still has its place. Here are a few instances in which offset printing services might be the best choice:
- If Bold, Vibrant Colors Are a Top Priority
Digital printers use a four-color printing system (similar to a home or office printer) to simulate various colors with generally good results. But this technique can’t produce the vibrant, highly accurate results of offset printing, which uses the Pantone matching system, inks and toners to get the exact right color every single time. Traditional printing methods are also less likely to result in cracks in the ink around folded edges, since the ink penetrates farther into the substrate to the point where it is fully absorbed.
- If Specialty Materials or Finishes Are Needed
Digital printing can be used on a wide variety of materials (called “substrates”), including paper, cloth, ceramic, plastic and even metal. But offset printing still offers a wider range of options when it comes to papers, inks and specialty finishes. A print company will often offer both processes for the same type of item, and guide its customers to the best choice depending on their customization preferences.
- If Many Identical Copies Are Needed
When it comes to direct mail or other pieces that require individual customization, digital printing is the clear choice. But if consistency is more important than individual customization, offset printing may provide the better route. Moreover, the cost per page is actually lower for traditional offset printing than it is for digital; the initial setup takes more time and money (since a plate must be created), but each print costs far less. So for high-volume jobs, offset printing can provide identical copies at a much lower unit cost. The plate can always be stored in case a company needs more copies at a later date.
What printing services does your company normally choose? Share your reasoning in the comments.