/ Printing  / Shall I Go Digital or Offset?

Most of the customers may find it confusing in going for digital printing and offset printing when they have some print works to be done. Indeed, the two techniques of printing are highly identical (to help you get your print works done!). There are, however, some of the subtle differences in between that may make you think twice as you get your upcoming print works done. In the forthcoming sections, we are going to compare digital printing and offset printing in the aspects of the product quality and, something that most of the customers are sensitive towards – price.

Both offset and digital printing make great printing products. What discriminates between the two means of printing is the techniques used during the printing process, which results in the difference in printing products.

Offset printing – a more faithful replication to the original

Offset printing offers a more accurate representation of color in its products. Unlike digital printing, offset printing requires a set of metal plates to get the print work done. The accuracy of the product is higher thanks to the plates tailored for each print work. The sets of custom-fit plates also make the products produced through the means of offset printing higher and more consistent in comparison with which being produced in digital printing. Offset printing is more commonly adopted in producing mass publications. Postcards, newspapers, magazines, and brochures are some of the examples which customers may order when they opt for offset printing.

With a higher precision and consistency of products, the cost of each work done on offset printing is higher. Since only one color is etched on each plate, it is not difficult for us to envision the cost required for each print work to be done. To break even the cost required for an offset printing set up (including each tailored plates, the inks and the paper used), a minimum of 2,500 pages is ideal for each offset printing job.

Digital printing – economically friendlier, setup friendlier, handier

In contrast, the installation of digital printing is much more convenient and more straightforward. The term “digital printing” is rather self-explanatory – it is a means of printing which relies on the supplement of an image directly from the digital source. Yes, no custom-fit plates made of any materials are required. Instead, colors are fed directly into “drum”, an internal mechanism for making colors visible on the media to be printed. The setup of digital printing, in comparison, is much simpler than offset printing. Most of the printers we see in libraries, offices, and, perhaps, the ones lay in your bedroom, are run using the principle of digital printing. With such a simplified printing principle, the cost of each work done on digital printing is much lower than that done.

Along with the advancement of digital printing technology, the quality of works done with digital printing has undoubtedly enhanced. Since the mechanism behind digital printing isn’t tailored on a work-to-work basis, you may realize a lack of consistency and details as you compare works done with offset printing.

On paper or plastic?

As a result of the principles behind offset printing, offset printing offers more flexibility when it comes to picking printing medium. Whether you wish to go for something glossier, more unusual or unique, you get to choose a variety of print media where you get your works done. Whereas for digital printing, with a much simpler printing principle, the options where you may have your job done is more limited.


So which means of printing shall you opt for? You may want to refer to the following comparison table before you place your order:

  Offset PrintingDigital Printing
More accurate and detailed representation of color on each print workSatisfactory representation of color on each print work
Cost effectiveness Suitable when mass production is required Suitable for less-quantity print jobs
Minimum pages 2500 pages ≥ 1 page(s)
Suggested projects Mass publications which require an accurate representation of colors: postcards, newspapers, magazines and brochures. Small quantity print jobs: copying of ID, certificates, lower-volume print jobs
Printing mediumMore flexible Less flexible

The best of both worlds!

Whether you decide to go offset or digital, PrintLē is always there for you. With PrintLē, you are automatically connected to some of the best print shops in Doha, Qatar, while being offered some of the best quotes you may get. Be it offset of digital, printing in Doha has never been this easy.

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