Digital printing and offset printing are two major printing methods used today in all sorts of items—but what’s the difference between them and which is best for you?
Digital printing uses inkjet and laser technology, while offset printing is a more involved setup using large machinery and special plates to transfer the ink. This hints at a couple of things:
Setup and turnaround:
Offset printing comes hand in hand with a more complex setup process compared to digital printing, which contributes to a longer turnaround time. If you need custom packaging quickly (i.e. within two weeks), it’s best to seek out a digital printing and packaging supplier to ensure you can meet your deadlines. If you have more time to spare, though, offset printing is likely the way to go.
Offset printing is more cost-effective for mass printing, while digital printing is best for smaller quantities. As a rough guideline, if you’re looking for a quantity in the thousands or even tens of thousands, it’s best to stick to offset printing. If you need just a few hundred boxes or less, go with digital printing as it offers a better unit price.
Options, consistency, and quality:
While digital printing gives perfectly sufficient results for most of your needs, offset printing has always offered higher quality overall, particularly with images. In addition, offset printing can utilize Pantone colors for better color consistency and accommodate for special features such as unique papers, finishes, and metallic spot colors—things that are not available in the world of digital printing.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for larger quantities and can spare a bit of time, with offset printing you’ll get fantastic print quality on your custom boxes with plenty of options at your disposal, including Pantone colors for dependable results. However, if time is not on your side or if you only need two hundred, fifty, or even just ten boxes, you can’t go wrong with digital printing for its speediness and cost-effectiveness.
Thinking offset printing might be for you? Tell us more about your product packaging at sales@ businessimageprint.com!