When it comes to getting the best prints for your money, many people often wonder which method is the best. In all actuality, whether you would think offset printing is better than digital printing or vice versa, you would first have to define what better means to you.
Each of these options has its own variety of strengths and weaknesses. In order to choose the options that best meets the needs of your application in Chicago, you will want to learn the differences between these two printing methods and incorporate your findings into your planning and design.
What is Offset Printing?
Offset printing is a traditional method that uses plates, ink and a wide variety of quality paper in a number of different sizes. When you choose this method of printing, you have the option of specifying any special inks, varnishes or film coatings. You also have the option to choose one color, two color or four color.
There are a number of different steps to setting up the press for customized, high quality printing. You should expect to wait at least a few weeks from the time you hand over the files to be printed. However, once set up, thousands of pieces can be printed in only a matter of minutes.
What is Digital Printing?
Digital printing is essentially laser printing of a higher quality and is a toner-based printing method. The color cartridges are available in magenta, yellow, black and cyan, which means you always get full color prints.
Contrary to offset printing, there is only basic preparation and no need to set anything up for digital printing. In addition, the paper choices are limited to only those that will fit in a specific printer. However, the more sophisticated printing machines are able to handle up to 12 x 18, staple and trim in line.
The Advantages of Offset Printing
Obviously, the greatest advantage of offset printing in Chicago is the fact that it will accommodate any type of paper, such as those of varying weights, sizes and textures. When it comes to color, you have access to neon, metallic and PMS solids, which are not available just with CMYK.
With this type of printing press, it is possible to do a double hit with the colors. This means that the ink can be run through twice, which effectively increases the richness of the color.