Should You Choose Offset Or Digital Printing For Your Next Project?

By Blue Star Design / 14 Feb 2018


Ever wonder about the difference between offset and digital printing? Blue Star Design is here to help you find your answer. In fact, we can help take your project from design to print and help you decide on the best possible options for both quality and cost.

Whether to use offset or digital depends on what you’re printing and how many copies you need. Some of the factors include paper type, size, colors (are you matching a spot color?) and quantity.

What is Offset Printing?

Offset printing has three key components: a plate, a blanket, and a paper roll. An offset press applies ink to the plate, the plate applies ink to the blanket, and the blanket applies ink to the paper roll.


Offsetting the printing process by putting a rubber blanket between the paper and the plate allows for much higher resolution.

What’s great about offset printing:

  • Pantone color-matching ensures your brand colors reproduce correctly.
  • A wide variety of custom inks lets you give your print projects a distinctive look.
  • You can print on a wide array of paper sizes, types, and textures, and apply custom finishes.
  • Super-fast: A good offset printer can produce thousands of copies per hour.

What is Digital Printing?

Digital printing doesn’t have a need for plates, but can do direct from computer to paper. Digital presses may use laser-and-toner mechanisms or ink-jet technologies.

The best thing about digital printing is you can create magazine-quality documents in small lots at a reasonable cost.

What’s great about digital printing:

  • Create sophisticated, full-color documents in small batches without breaking the bank.
  • Technology keeps getting better, adding new options all the time (for example, you could integrate printing with data from your marketing automation software).

Decoding Your Designer

Let Us Help You Pick The Right Printing Option

You don't have to decide this on your own. At Blue Star Design, we’ve done hundreds of print projects for customers in pretty much every industry. We’ve seen it all, and we have excellent relationships with the top printers in the Cleveland metropolitan area.

If you’d like a hand finding the right printer for your project, your budget, and your target audience, let us know.


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