Blogs Digital vs Offset Printing – Know the difference!

Digital vs Offset Printing – Know the difference!

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ARC India

May 18, 2022

If you are planning to print a significant project and wondering about selecting the best printing method, you might have already heard two terms- digital printing and offset printing. If you think printing is a general thing and these two terms don’t count then you are wrong. It’s really important to know the differences between these two methods of printing so that you can select the perfect method for your upcoming printing. In this article, we are going to tell you about the key differences between digital printing and offset printing-


Digital printing: The digital method doesn’t involve using aluminum plates where the image is etched. The digital process transfers the image from the computer to the digital printer. An electrostatic roller or drum is used to apply the toner onto the paper to print the image. The process has similarities with the inkjet printing process.

Offset printing: This printing process uses aluminum plates and ink. To define every color, an individual metal plate is used. When it comes to using the digital information of an image, each plate has to be laser-etched. The plate is attached to a roller that transfers the ink to another roller attached to a rubber sheet that rolls the ink onto the material that is going to be printed.


Digital printing: Digital printing is ideal for a project that has a lower volume of copies but when it comes to printing a large volume of copies, digital printing cost is higher than the regular offset printing services. 

Offset printing: If you want to print a large volume of copies, opting for offset printing would be an ideal decision. Though offset printing technology requires more time, materials and machinery, still ink and paper are less expensive than digital printing, thus it costs lesser than digital printing.

Turn around time

Digital printing: When the speed is concerned, nothing can beat digital printing’s lighting-fast speed due to the small set-up time. If you are looking forward to printing flyers or business cards within a few minutes, digital printing is the best solution for you. 

Offset printing: Offset printing process consumes a lot of time for the entire setup. Once the setup is done, it ensures a seamless printing process. With the offset printing process, it’s almost next to impossible to provide a same-day or next-day delivery process. 

Sheet size: 

Digital printing: This process involves sheet sizes between 19” to 29”. When it comes to meeting the large-format printing requirement, many people opt for the digital wide printing method. 

Offset printing: Offset printing runs sheet sizes ranging from 29” to 40”. Offset printing is a great option when you need large format printing which is not possible with digital printing. 


Digital printing: If you need a unique design for each copy of your project, you should opt for digital printing. Digital printing supports the variable printing method that prints information printing materials. The information includes the logo, business message, logo, company contact number, etc. 

Offset printing: In the offset printing process, plates should be set up to print. Each plate is lesser-etched to print the information on the material. The variable data printing is difficult with the offset printing method. 

Offset printing: Offset printing offers the most precise and superior quality of color representation. 

 We hope that knowing the major differences between digital printing and offset printing can help you to take an informed decision to get the best print quality.