Difference between digital printing and offset printing?

Features of digital and offset printing

Many times, when the marketing strategy requires it, we must choose to print different formats. Whether the goal is to publicize a new event, product or service. At other times it is to communicate a traditional marketing promotion. Even when you attend an industry fair.

Even if digital marketing tactics have infiltrated your marketing campaign, print is still relevant. And surely, when you want to print flyers, flyers, posters, canvases or the like, you have come across the question: What is digital printing and offset printing?

This question is very common in the Jennings Print, printing company and that is why today we will explain:

  1. Differences between digital printing and offset printing
  2. Benefits of each
  3. Ideal papers and formats for each print

Keep reading and clear all your doubts.

What is digital printing?

Digital printing is divided into two technologies: inkjet technology and toner. Inkjet technology uses a different liquid ink than offset. Toner technology is made up of pigmented particles.

It is intended for prints that do not require high volumes. Imagine the situation where you only want to print 3 canvases, 10 restaurant menus, 10 customer catalogs, and so on.

You have surely wondered if digital printing is of better quality. It should be clarified that it has advantages over printing time, but it does not leave aside the quality of offset printing. Another important feature is that this type of printing is done directly from the computer to the digital printer.

digital printing

Another of the main characteristics of digital printing is that it can only operate in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). So before sending your format to print, check that this feature is set in your design program. (RGB).

What kind of formats can you get by digital printing? The ones you imagine. From business cards, product boxes, books, catalogs, folders, flyers, brochures, etc. Remember that almost any idea you have is possible with digital printing.

Benefits of digital printing

The main benefit of digital printing is that you are not forced to print high volumes. As simple as that. Another benefit is that it is ideal for jobs that require speed to print.

Another benefit of digital printing is that you can print as many items as you need and no more. If you need, for example, to print only 15 personalized gift boxes, then you can do it with digital printing. This feature is important to mention because you can use variable data.

Another example is if you only need to print 10 large format banners for your 10 food outlets. With digital printing you do it fast and with good quality.

digital printing

With digital printing, you can work with a wide variety of media such as magnets, PVC, vinyls, etc.

What is offset printing?

Offset printing is an indirect printing system that uses metallic plates, 4-color inks (CMYK), and rollers that pass the ink onto the paper. Plates are partially wet with ink repellent (greasy) water.

There are different machines for offset printing, which depend on the size of the paper sheet. The bigger the sheet of paper, the bigger the machine and the whole process that will increase proportionally.

Remember we mentioned that offset printing uses 4 inks? Well, offset printing needs a plate for each one of them. Therefore, for each print only one ink can be printed at a time.


Although the offset printing process that we detailed above sounds very elaborate, it is right. The main benefit of offset printing is that it allows you to print large runs at low cost and at higher speed.

offset printing

With this type of printing you can have larger formats (compared to digital) and you can use all kinds of papers. On the other hand, you can also print with special inks such as varnishes, pantones, silver, etc.

Offset or digital printing. Which one to choose?

As we already explained throughout the article, you must know the type of format, volume and time you have to choose between both types of printing. It really depends on what your current situation is and need to choose between the two.


Deciding between offset or digital printing will no longer be a problem for you. Now you know that if you require a faster job and less print volumes, digital is the one. On the other hand, if your printing format is wide, you have more time, the offset will be perfect.

Jennings Print

Really, each type of printing has its advantages, but you should not fall into the lie that one is better than the other. The answer is in the need you have at the time of printing. Do not hesitate to contact the Jennings Print team to decide which is the most convenient. We are here to help you.

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