The Difference Between Digital Printing and Offset Printing

If you need business cards, brochures, posters or any other promotional materials, there’s a lot of work to do.

First, you need to choose the best design, layout, colour scheme and copy.

Once you have decided on all of these items, you then need to make a decision between offset and digital printing.

What Is Offset Printing?

This also referred to as lithography. It’s the most popular type of printing used for high volume commercial jobs.

Here, the printer burns the designs into onto metal plates with different colour variations. The main colours used are magenta, cyan, black and yellow.

Next, the design is transferred from the plates then added to rubber rolls.

The different colour variations are spread on the rubber and paper is spread between them.

The paper runs through all the rubber rolls layering the colour accordingly resulting in the final image.

What Are The Advantages Of Offset Printing

1. Superior Image Quality – You can always count on superior and reliable image quality.

With offset printing, you will always produce images without any spots or streaks.

2. Improved Colour Fidelity – This refers to the accuracy and balance of the colours in the final design.

Offset printing involves custom colour inks for each printing job. Therefore, you can rest assured that they will get the exact colour you need.

3. Works On Any Material – It doesn’t matter what you need to be printed and where offset printing allows you to print on any type of material.

Therefore, you can produce flyers, t-shirts or billboards without any worries.

4. A Lot Of Savings For Large Projects – If you are printing a large volume of work, you will get a lot of cost savings.

Initially, you would have to spend a lot of money for smaller projects because you need to follow the process mentioned above.

However, once you have invested in everything, you will spend considerably less than digital printing.

The Disadvantages Of Offset Printing

1. Expensive For Small Projects – If you have a low printing volume, you are likely to spend more money on offset printing.

2. Not Time Saving – Offset printing takes a lot of time, especially if you need to start from scratch by designing the plates.

3. Terrible Fallout – If you don’t catch an error early on the printing plates, you will have a terrible fallout because your entire batch will be ruined.

What Is Digital Printing?

With digital printing, things are a little bit faster and ultimately different. Here, you don’t need the proofs, plates and rubber rolls.

Here, the design will be applied to the printing surface directly using powdered toner or liquid ink.

It’s as simple as the printer you have at home but does the jobs at a larger scale.

The Benefits Of Digital Printing

1. Faster Turnaround – If you have a large scale printing project within a limited time frame, digital printing has a fast turnaround allowing you to meet your deadlines effortlessly.

2. Cheaper For Small Printing Jobs – Compared to offset printing, digital printing is cheaper for small printing jobs because there are fewer processes involved.

3. Easy To Correct Mistakes – If you notice any mistakes, you can easily correct them without ruining the entire batch.

Disadvantages Of Digital Printing

1. Limited Printing Materials – You’re limited on the type of materials you can print on.

2. Less Colour Fidelity – Digital printers use standard inks that don’t match all the colours resulting in less colour fidelity compared to offset printing.



If you are not sure what to choose between offset and digital printing, you need to weigh up a few parameters such as the volume of the job, your deadline, the material, the colour and any custom work.

If you are looking for the best quality digital printing with the most competitive prices, please contact us today on (03) 9387 0999 or email us

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