The greatest difference between digital printing and traditional methods such as lithography, flexography, gravure, or letterpress is that there is no need to replace printing plates in digital printing, whereas in analog printing the plates are repeatedly replaced. This results in quicker turnaround time and lower cost when using digital printing, but typically a loss of some fine-image detail by most commercial digital printing processes.
DIGITAL AND OFFSET PRINTING
Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small-run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers.
Offset printing technology uses plates, usually made from aluminum, which are used to transfer an image onto a rubber “blanket”, and then rolling that image onto a sheet of paper.
Offset printing also called offset lithography, or litho-offset is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred (or “offset“) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. It’s called offset because the ink is not transferred directly onto the paper.
Is Offset printing cheaper than digital printing?
Cheaper low volume printing. While the unit cost of each piece may be higher than with offset printing, when setup costs are included digital printing provides lower per unit costs for very small print runs. Variable Data Printing is a form of customizable digital printing.