Maybe you’re gearing up for your biggest print job ever. Perhaps you want to take your packaging up a notch. It could be that you need to print hundreds of posters to promote an event. So, what is the best way to get them produced?
You have options when it comes to printing your brochures, packaging, and direct mail pieces. Both offset and digital printing deliver impressive benefits to your company’s reputation and bottom line, but there are times when one type of printing is a better choice. Here are the top reasons to choose offset printing instead of digital printing.
Reasons to Choose Offset Printing
When You’re Printing Large Quantities
You know the expression: Time is money? It applies to commercial printing. The time it takes to print your job is a primary factor in how much your job will cost. Offset presses are extremely fast. Once a print job is set up, an offset press can run up to 18,000 press sheets an hour — or about ten times faster than a digital press. This high-speed nature of offset printing makes it an extremely cost-effective choice for large print runs of books, brochures, magazines, and more.
So, you may be wondering: Why not print everything on an offset press? It has to do with the upfront costs of offset printing which include making the metal printing plates used in the printing process and setting up the press. If you’re printing large quantities, the significantly lower price per piece more than makes up for the upfront costs, but digital printing may be a better option for smaller jobs.
So what’s a large print job? There is no clear-cut line. It depends on your project’s print size and how many pieces will fit on a press sheet. For example, if you’re printing promotional posters, you may only be able to fit a couple on each press sheet. Printing 10,000 signs would require several thousand sheets of paper. Based on the number of sheets, this may be a good job for an offset press.
On the other hand, if you’re running something small — like a notecard — we may be able to fit dozens on a single sheet. So, even if you need 10,000 of the cards, that may still be only a few hundred sheets through the press. In this case, digital printing may be better.
Of course, these are just hypothetical examples. Every job is different. The good news is that there’s a perfect press for every project, and we can help you figure out what’s going to deliver the quality you want at a price you can afford.
When Color is King
Sometimes nearly perfect color doesn’t cut it. While digital printing has come a long way, it still can’t match the color accuracy of offset printing. Here are reasons to consider the superior color of offset printing:
- Product accuracy: For some products, accurate color is absolutely essential. If you’re selling a peacock blue purse, you don’t want it to appear in a catalog as navy blue. If the color isn’t right, customers may be disappointed with their purchases, leading to higher returns and reduced customer satisfaction.
- Brand standards: If your company’s logo requires a Pantone color, offset printing may be the best option as digital presses aren’t always compatible with specialty inks. Company style guides often allow the use of CMYK colors. However, some spot colors are impossible to duplicate with a Pantone to CMYK color conversion.
- For visual impact: If you want to reinforce your brand’s quality in your printing, the best color match can make a difference. Offset printing allows better control to make sure that images are picture-perfect — one of the reasons why it’s the proven choice for fine art photo book printing.
- Bolder colors: While many image adjustments are possible with quality prepress services, there are times when the best course is to pump up the color on the press.
When You Want Your Materials to Look Super Slick
Specialty inks and coatings can take any project to the next level. A product on a mailer on a mailer can be so glossy that it practically jumps off the surrounding background. A brochure can be so soft that it almost feels like a soft blanket. You can print a message that’s only legible in a dark room.
Offset printing provides the widest variety of coating and ink options and the most ways to use them, including spot color or spot coatings that allow certain elements to really pop. And if you wish to incorporate finishing options like embossing or foil stamping, offset printing is the way to make that happen.
When Paper Just Won’t Cut It
With offset printing, virtually anything can be a printing surface: Specialty paper stocks, plastic, and vinyl — to name just a few options. What’s more, offset printing provides stunning, color-accurate results regardless of the printing surface. While newer digital presses allow some variety in printing surfaces, offset printing allows for the greatest flexibility and innovation.
When You’re Thinking (and Printing) Big
If you need a big space to communicate your big idea, offset printing might be the way to go. Offset presses typically take a much larger sheet size than digital presses — a press sheet for an offset press can be up to 40 inches wide or about twice the width of a typical digital press. So, if you’re printing posters, packaging, or signage, offset printing may be the best way to go.
When You Have Flexibility in How You Order
Do you reorder small quantities of a particular brochure every few months? You may be able to save a bundle if you order larger amounts less frequently — particularly if the change allows the job to run on an offset press. If you like the idea of ordering larger volumes but aren’t sure where to store them, we can help with offsite storage and order fulfillment.
Offset printing may also be a good option when ordering several items at once. Because the sheet size of an offset press is so large, you may be able to combo run jobs — such as multiple product brochures for added efficiency.
Choose Offset Printing for Outstanding Results
When it comes to quality, offset printing wins most of the time — but it’s not a good choice for every job. There are times when digital printing may be better than offset printing. An offset job requires more set-up upfront, making it costly for short-run jobs, and there’s no option for one-to-one personalization on press.
While the above are top reasons to choose offset printing, we believe every printing job is unique and deserves our undivided attention. To ensure that we can meet your every need, Point B Solutions offers both offset and digital printing. We provide dedicated support to help you determine the best option for your print project and how to secure precisely the results you need.