Digital or Offset Printing? When it Comes to Short Run Printing, Is That the Question?

Our clients are forever asking us which is better – digital printing or offset? The answer often depends on what printer you ask.  That’s because most printers have a vested interest in the response. A valued print and production partner will tell you that you’re asking the wrong question. The question is not “which is better”, but “what is your objective”.

Offset Printing

In offset printing, plates are used to transfer images onto a rubber blanket. The images are then rolled onto paper. The result is a crisp, clear image with accurate color reproduction. The process of setting up plates for offset printing can be expensive and time consuming. So this printing option is best for large print runs where the quantity offsets the cost, like brochures or sales aids. A wider variety of paper, ink colors and finishing options can be used.

Digital Printing

Since digital printing doesn’t use plates, the setup costs and print time are generally lower. It’s the ideal process for smaller quantity projects with a shorter timeline, like handouts or welcome packet materials. Since there is less setup involved, there are more customization options. You can print what you need when you need it and save a specific file setup for a later date.

Direct and Multichannel Marketing

A few years back when you compared offset and digital, offset was the preferred method of print. Although digital printing has come a long way, the quality of offset is still higher with crisper images and more accurate colors. The rise of direct and multichannel marketing, the capacity of the digital press to print variable data has become invaluable to today’s leading marketers.

Digital printing allows you to print varying salutations, images, product codes, phone numbers and more, meaning you can send highly targeted marketing communications while keeping your metrics streams separate for each of your targeted segments.

Creative MediaWorks is a full-service web and graphic design agency that specializes in life sciences. We have over 25 years of experience providing comprehensive graphic design, printing and shipping service – all performed in house under one roof, allowing us full control over quality and deadline. To learn more about our company, visit our website