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Offset Printing vs. Digital Printing

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

What is the difference between offset printing and digital printing?

In today’s modern world, most people are unaware of the different methods involved in printing large quantities. When someone talks about printing, they usually think of the typical inkjet family or office printer used for simple documents or photos. Rightfully so, these printers are the most common in the market. But have you ever wondered how posters, calendars, banners, tags, and other mass-produced products are printed quickly and efficiently?

There are two ways to mass produce printed products – through digital printing or offset printing.

Offset Printing Solutions

What is offset printing? Offset printing is a traditional method of mass printing. Offset printing involves transferring photos from a plate to rubber rollers or blankets before reaching a media substrate. The media substrate, also referred to as print media, is usually paper-based and does not touch the metal plates directly. This setup prolongs the usability of the metal plates and gives flexibility to the machine as it allows the use of rough-surfaced media substrates. Although it requires a more expensive initial investment, the advantage of offset printing is that it would be the more affordable option in the long run. The greater the output, the cheaper the production cost is per print. Thus, offset printing is ideal for larger quantities. Moreover, another advantage of offset printing is its quality. Offset printing can consistently print images of higher resolution than those produced by digital printing.

An offset printing operator working behind a Heidelberg Speedmaster machine.
One of the leading brands in offset printing is the German manufacturer Heidelberg. Seen in the photo is one of the Heidelberg printers of Sweet Dynamics Corporation during a run.

Digital Printing Solutions

What is digital printing? Digital printing, on the other hand, involves the production of digital-based photos directly onto several media substrates, such as paper, acrylic, and board, among others. Unlike offset printing, digital printing does not use a printing plate. Digital files can be directly transferred to the digital printing press, just like how a typical inkjet would operate. Thus, digital printing does not require a hefty initial investment and can be started more quickly. In the long run, however, the costs would be more expensive in digital printing. Although more convenient and has less room for delays, another downside of digital printing is the decreased resolution of its outputs.

A photo showing a Fuji Xerox Versant 3100 digital printer.
The Fuji Xerox Versant 3100 of Sweet Dynamics Corporation is a high-performance digital color printing press.

A challenge that several companies encounter when choosing between the two printing processes is the availability of a suitable printing service. Because mass-printing setups are challenging to assemble and maintain, only a handful of printing companies offer both offset and digital printing services. Fortunately, industry experts such as Sweet Dynamics Corporation (SDC) provide both digital and offset printing services. From small-scale to large-scale requests, Sweet Dynamics Corporation has been catering to a wide array of brand needs. From glossy calendars to acrylic signage, and roll-up banners to medicine boxes, SDC is a one-stop-shop for your printing needs!

If you are still wondering what type of printing process would be suitable for the desired print job of your brand, representatives from Sweet Dynamics Corporation are more than willing to assist you. Get a free quote through our contact channels.


Mobile: 0917-639-9328 (look for Mr. Jasper Japos)


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