Printing is a process that most do not consider; typically, it is carried out on a large scale for industries like publishing and transacting. From woodblocks to movable type to modern methods, this process has evolved. Modern printing typically boils down to two main types: digital and offset. Digital printing is widely regarded as the most popular; although, that does not mean it is suitable for all situations.
The mechanical process for digital printing is much simpler than offset. Most digital presses apply ink from a single ink head in one pass across the paper. The need to create films and plates for ink rollers is rendered unnecessary. Offset printing is much more complicated; the first step is to burn the design image onto a plate, then transfer the plate to a rubber sheet and onto the printing surface. Only the image that needs to be printed receives ink from the rollers. The surrounding spaces are ink free because of how the oil and water are repulsed. The non-printed area attracts water, thereby repulsing the oil in the ink. Many California printing businesses, like Avanti Printing, use both types of printing methods. For example, Avanti prints business cards, posters, brochures, newsletters, manuals, and books in both digital and offset manners depending on the project size.
When deciding which method suits the project’s needs, there are a few things one must consider: the size of the job, the quality of the work, and the time in which the project must be accomplished. These considerations apply to all California printing businesses. Digital Printing is best for small jobs that are typically under 500 unites. They are best for custom copy, require less maintenance and setup, and are cheaper than offset. However, digital methods are limited in size, cannot print PMS colors, and have a lower quality of work. Offset printing, on the other hand, can accommodate larger runs exceeding 500 units, can suit larger pages, and can offer PMS colors, glossing, and varnishing techniques. However, offset methods are more costly and time consuming because of the maintenance and operation of the machines.