Differences Between Offset and Digital Poster

In the world of printing, there are many printing techniques. Among the two most widely used techniques are digital printing and offset printing. For poster printing, it is possible to use one of these processes (digital poster printing and offset printing). Each of these methods has its own benefits. In this article we’re going to compare between them and see their advantages.  

1. Comparing the Two Printing Processes (Digital Poster Printing and Offset Poster Printing) 

The offset process has multiple successive stages before printing: the document to be printed is reproduced on a support, first on a metal plate. engraved, where areas to be inked are defined. This plate is inked multiple times, before passing a cylinder or roller called a “blanket”, covered with a rubber sheet, which will transfer the ink to the paper, for the actual printing on paper. The offset is based on many manipulations: it is a system which requires heavy equipment, time, expertise and know-how. 

 The digital printing process for its part is a much simpler printing technique, since the document is reproduced directly on paper, using computer tools and laser printers in particular. The technique is faster and more flexible, and the visual is printed in one go, with much less handling and less ink drying time.  

With its different techniques, different uses and costs given its complexity, it is recommended to use offset for medium and large volume runs. While digital is suitable for small volumes. The strength of digital printing is to be able to process personalization of texts and images. From these given definitions, it can be seen that these two printing mechanisms each represent advantages but also have their weak points.  

2. The Advantages of Digital Posters and Offset Posters 

a. Offset Posters 

This process does not require a fount solution. This speeds up the start-up and therefore avoids wasted paper. As the water supply to the paper is minimized, dimensional variations of the latter are almost non-existent. 

 During offset printing, the inking is stable and the contrast is more qualitative. The widening of the screen point is reduced compared to the conventional offset. This allows the reproduction of a finer screen as well as the use of the stochastic or random screen instead of the conventional screen. But other advantages are drawn by opting for this printing technique. 

Offset printing guarantees impeccable print quality. And the design of the clichés on the posters is quick and less expensive. This technique is possible for poster printing in medium and large format, but depending on the machines used. It is possible to apply a varnish at the press outlet. Heavyweight posters (up to 400g / m2) can be printed with this technique and drying is fast (thanks to UV inks) 

 Thanks to UV inks & varnishes, offset adapts to non-absorbent substrates. UV inks and varnishes allow offset to move upmarket 

b. Digital Posters 

Digital printing allows the production of small series of posters on offset or coated papers between 80 to 300gr and this in a very short time. Despite a higher cost per printed page than more traditional offset printing methods, digital printing keeps costs low. Indeed, it is no longer necessary to use printing plates. This method is therefore particularly competitive for low-draft jobs. 

Claire Lee