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Offset Press Printer vs. Digital Printer: Knowing the Processes and Results

Printing Formats

There are a plethora of different printers, printing formats and products printers can produce. It can be overwhelming to try to learn about every single printer’s function and production capabilities, so today we will only focus on the digital printer and the offset printer. Our goal is to explain the process and results of each printer so that you can better understand which service will be best for your product.

Digital Printer

Digital Printer - Printing FormatsProcess

With digital printing, images are digitally transferred to paper using lasers that fuse toner to the paper using heat. It can either be dry toner or liquid suspended toner particles. Digital printers can print in black and white or color. The great thing about digital printers is that they can quickly change data because of the use of lasers. The laser is constantly writing or etching in the content, making it easier for adjustments. You can print from a digital-based image to a variety of media with opportunity for unique customization.


Digital printing is perfect for a range of products. There are newsletters, business cards, brochures, fliers, postcards, posters, promotional cards, rack cards, workbooks, presentations and annual reports, to name a few. But what else makes a digital printer so proficient? Well, it’s fast, it’s efficient, it’s cost-effective, it produces excellent quality and it eliminates pre-press stages of traditional printing that produces excess waste.

Offset Press Printer

Heidelberg Press - Printing FormatsProcess

Offset printing is a printing technique in which the linked image is transferred, or “offset,” from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface. This technique is rooted in the principle that water and oil do not mix, therefore, the process is designed to create areas on the surface that will attract the ink and repel the water, while elements that should not be printed will do the opposite. An offset press printer functions by using what is called a “press plate.” The press plate has an image or design that is etched into it, and each plate will carry a specific color that will be used as part of the image. For example, one plate will be etched with the magenta color, while another plate will contain cyan. The metal plate is attached to the drum on the press and as it circulates, the ink is applied to the plate and then the plate comes around and stamps the paper with that color and image. There are a series of stages or coloring segments. Once one color is stamped on the paper, the paper will pass through to the next tower with the next drum so that another color can be applied. This process will go on until all of the color is applied.

Printing Press in Action - Printing FormatsResults

With offset printing, we can produce high-quality prints in a timely manner. Our offset press can print up to 15,000 press sheets per hour. It produces fliers, brochures, mailers, business workbooks, etc. If you have anything that you needed printed in the thousands, the press printer will get the job done.

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