What is the difference between digital printing technique and offset printing technique?

difference between digital and offset printing

If there is a very common question in the world of printing and typography, it is definitely the difference between digital and offset printing. Although both technologies share certain similarities, the reality is that each has unique characteristics.

In today’s article, we will get down to work to briefly talk to you about these techniques in order for you to know their application and choose the most suitable one according to your needs.

What is offset printing?

Offset printing is characterized by managing several orders in the same work cycle, dispatching thousands of copies in a short period of time.

This is made possible by large computer-manipulated gear-roller combination plate machines.

Simply put, it’s an industrial print style for high-demand jobs.

offset printing difference digital

What is digital printing?

Digital printing is a process that embodies a digital file or file on a physical medium.
Through a computer, the batch printing action is carried out in a low volume (usually in units).

There are also other types of digital printing that use a peculiar technology such as the elaboration of 3D materials or the toner by using particles with pigment.
In general, it is a much more economical and efficient alternative for moderately basic needs.

What is the difference between digital and offset printing?

Now let’s go with the difference between digital and offset printing, in this way you will be able to know the strengths of each print and if it is convenient for you to lean towards one or the other.

It all depends on the requirement that the production or creation of the material you require for a particular circumstance entails.

Let’s start with the differences in favor of digital printing:

Printing process

The first falls on the printing process, the offset style is an analog and indirect procedure that passes the paper through a matrix plate and transfers it to a rubber support.

On the other hand, digital printing does not require a master plate, this gives you excellent production flexibility with simple requests.

In addition, in offset we must wait for the cooling of the materials or for the drying of the ink itself, which does not happen with the digital variant.

Print format

The printing format is an indisputable differential factor in both techniques, the digital option brings with it a series of materials and sizes where we can define the measurements, the textures and the different colors available between CMYK and RGB.

For this reason, it is the favorite of many professional sectors for brand advertising through products or services.

Since they have the freedom to make a request to get advertising, communication or point of sale material.

Caring for the environment

Offset printing, being part of the industrial area, generates a greater environmental impact due to the large amount of material and ink that is needed for printing.

On the other hand, in digital there is a technology called LATEX, which is responsible for optimizing resources to the maximum without affecting the environment.

The results obtained by this system are surprising, because thanks to its fast drying, the sharpness and definition of the prints are unbeatable.

In addition, these do not consume as much ink or contain harmful chemicals as with the offset printing system, thus guaranteeing the durability and quality of the products.

Now we go with the differences in favor of offset printing:

Variety of papers

One of the great differences of offset compared to the digital model is the possibility of using a wide variety of papers offering greater versatility when printing.

Use of special inks and other substances

Another highlight of offset printing is the use of special inks such as silver, gold, exact colors and even the implementation of varnishes.

Due to this quality, the probabilities are practically infinite because the offset covers a wide range of projects.

Industrial work

As previously stated, offset printing service is the ideal alternative due to its large industrial capacity.

This is designed to process multiple orders in a short time. In other words, thousands of copies can be printed while maintaining high quality, regardless of the type of ink used.

What type of printing to choose?

Now that you know the difference between offset and digital printing. Now is the time to answer the question that customers ask the most. Which one should I choose for my project?

The answer to this question would be: it depends on the volume or quantity of the product.

It is best not to hire an offset service if you do not have an order of hundreds or thousands of copies at your disposal.

The same happens with digital printing, only that in this case it is advisable to have units or hundreds.

However, when you make your inquiry, our experts will offer you the best solution according to the needs of your project.


Only a qualified professional can determine if a project was made by digital or offset printing. It is difficult to differentiate them without extensive professional experience, and what do we mean by this?

You don’t need to decide, you just have to think about the volume you need of a product to carry out an advertising campaign and OpenPrint will offer you the best solution.


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