Do you find printing terminology confusing?

We got our start in 1952 and since then there have been many changes and advancements in the way a printed project is produced.

One of the largest advancements being what is referred to as Digital printing. Digital printing gives our clients more options and new features to choose from. Many times we have seen these options turn into confusion over the advantages and disadvantages of digital printing, and how it compares to traditional offset printing.

Offset printing is the most common high-volume commercial printing practice. This printing practice is based on the fact that oil and water repel one another. To simplify and explain, offset printing starts with burning the design onto a plate. This design is then transferred (or offset) from the plate to a rubber blanket which is then used to transfer the image to the paper of your choice. The image on the plate to be printed gets ink from ink rollers, while the non-image area gets covered with water, keeping the non-printed areas ink-free.

Offset printing has many advantages, including:

  • High image quality.
  • A large variety of paper surfaces and sheet sizes can be printed.
  • The larger the quantity you print, the lower the unit cost.

Digital printing eliminates the need for a printing plate used in offset printing. Here, the image is sent directly to the printer using digital files – much like a laser or ink-jet printer. Digital printing has many advantages as well, including:

  • Shorter turnaround.
  • More accurate counts and less waste.
  • Low-volume printing.
  • Variable Data or customizable printing leverages data and/or graphics that are changed on each single print. For example, personalized letters can be printed with a different name and address on each letter.

What does this mean for your print job? How do you choose what is best for you? That is where AZ Litho can help! We start any project asking some simple questions to get a good idea of what press is best for your needs.

We will talk to you about the quantity you want to print. Short runs can be much more cost effective with digital printing; while larger quantities are likely to have a lower unit cost with offset printing.

We talk to you about turnaround. If you need it fast, digital usually offers quicker delivery.

We talk to you about customization. server ip Without question, digital printing offers the most affordable way to customize marketing materials, direct mail pieces, letters, etc.

We talk to you about paper selection, finish, and size. The answers to these questions will help us know which style would be the better choice.

Whether you are looking to print 1 to 1 million, AZ Litho can help you decide if digital or offset or a hybrid approach will be best for your project. Check out our print services here!