How to know when to go digital or offset…

Unless you buy printing for a living, you might not know the difference between Digital Printing and Offset Printing, much less which one is best for your current project. I will try to clarify some of the different indicators that we use to determine which process is best for you. At Brandywine, we offer both solutions, so we don’t lean toward either process due to our equipment limitations, we do what is best for our customers based on their budget and quality expectations.

The first thing that we generally look at is quantity. If we are running less than 1000 sheets of paper for any job, we automatically consider digital first. Likewise, if the sheet count is higher than 2000, we start with offset. Remember, sheet count isn’t necessarily the same number of finished pieces, but that is for another blog.

Next, we think about the purpose of the finished piece. If it’s something that needs to look exactly the same every time it’s printed, we generally stay away from digital printing.  Digital Printing is great for a lot of things, but the technology is still lacking when it comes to matching color over time. Sometimes “time” may be from one day to the next, depending on temperature, and humidity. Using Offset Printing, we have precise control over any color.

Then we take into consideration any bindery process that may be needed after the job is printed.  If the job needs foil stamping, or embossing, or some other precise finishing work, we will generally consider Offset before Digital. In some cases Digital works here just fine.

There are several other circumstances that we take into consideration, but the thing to remember, is that we are experts.  We know which process is best for each and every project that comes into our shop. We always take the path of least resistance, which saves our customers time and money.

Even if you don’t use Brandywine for your printing needs, be sure to ask any questions that may concern you between Digital and Offset Printing. Make sure that whoever is doing your printing knows the difference, if they don’t, how can they offer the best solution?

Check out this video from International Paper for more information:

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