Offset printing

Offset printing is also called lithography.

This technology involves the transfer of images (text and art) from one material to another using printing plates. Offset is the highest quality printing that is low in cost but wide in scope. For example, you can use offset printing to create advertisements, brochures, or packaging on a high-quality sheet-fed machine.

The table below compares offset and digital printing.

When to prefer digital and when offset?
Quantity 750 or more
Colours Pantone or CMYK
Time to print A few days up to a week
Cost Affordable unit price when printing large runs
Quality Best quality, allows for microprinting
Variable data Only numbering added in post-processing
Post-processing Needs to dry before post-processing
Special inks Yes, it's possible to use metallic, neon and PMS colours
Proofing Accurate colour proofing can be expensive
Choice of stock Very wide choice of papers, including art papers
Quantity 1 through 750
Colours only CMYK
Time to print Usually within 24 hours
Cost Affordable unit price when printing small runs
Quality High quality
Variable data Yes, every individual print can be completely unique
Post-processing Post-processing can be peformed immediately
Special inks No, only CMYK (four colour) printing can be done
Proofing Affordable colour proofing that matches the end product exactly
Choice of stock Wide choice of papers, not including all art papers