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Deciding When to Use Digital Printing or Offset Printing

Offset printing is considered the grand father of all printing processes. They may be old but the offset printing process has stood the test of time and up to today brings quality prints at very affordable prices. However, offset printing relies heavily on mechanical processes such as plate production, because of this you need to have larger print orders for your materials to be cost effective.

Printing companies overcame this short coming with the development of various technologies - namely digital printing. Today, computers play a big role in how we live our lives. And it has increased the effectiveness of several appliances and functions. The improvements have extended into the realm of printing.

Digital printing uses the aid of computers in order to process your prints and produce them without the use of plates and other mechanical processes like film stripping and color separation. Because of this, a wide array of printing options has become available to people and there is greater freedom on how they want their prints done.

In order to help you decide whether you want to print your materials in offset or in digital, here are the pros and cons of using digital printing:

1 -Printing through the digital method is definitely cheaper than offset printing when it comes to short run prints. On larger orders however, offset printing is still the best option. As I have said earlier, printing through the digital process does not require mechanical processes that add to the production cost. Printing digitally uses direct to printer technology that allows them to print your materials in short run and print them at very cost effective rates. However, plates are necessary to create large number of prints as such, when you order in bulk and you need your prints at a fast turn around time, offset printing should be your choice.

2 - Both printing technologies offer full color printing process. However, unless you plan to print in short run, offset printing is still the best option that you can have. Both printing technologies use the four color process using yellow, cyan, black and magenta to produce different hues.

3 - In general, digital printing will provide a quicker turnaround. Offset printing requires a lot of pre-press set up and the processes that you go thru are time consuming but unavoidable. Digital printing allows you to by pass all mechanical processes and lets you print your materials at very fast turn around.

4 - Digital printing is still improving its processes and some design options are still not available thru digital means. Processes like embossed printing, stamping, special custom folding, spot varnishes and full gloss coating such as UV can’t be done through digital means - YET. Just wait for more technological advances to make these services available when you print digitally.

5 -At Clarkson Graphic Services, we can help you with your all of your digital printing needs. We can provide your business with catalogues, business cards, envelopes, labels, presentation folders or any of your other business printing needs using either digital or conventional printing processes. Contact Clarkson Graphic Services today for a quotation.

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