What’s the difference between digital and offset litho printing?

Cost: digital printing involves only a little setting up and then a cost for each copy; offset litho printing involves more setting up and a printing plate to create the first copy, but then the cost per copy is much cheaper. As a general guide, up to 500 items is cheaper printed digitally and over 500 is cheaper using offset litho. At Fulprint, our quotation software automatically checks the best cost options for you.

Speed: we generally turn around digital jobs in 2-3 working days and offset litho jobs in 5 working days. Although the digital print machine prints more slowly, the printed item is dry; whereas in offset litho printing real, wet ink is used and drying time is needed before cutting and boxing.

Colour: digital printing always uses the full colour process to create different colours; offset litho printing can also do this, but in addition allows for dedicated ‘spot’ colours, which are very accurate and can include metallic silver and gold or fluorescent inks.

Posted in: Printing Process Questions

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