Custom Printing Services
Velocity offers both 4 color offset and 4 color digital printing for your paper printing needs. Please see below to learn the difference and the pros and cons of each option!
Digital printing: the new kid in town
When digital printing came onto the scene, it saw how much work offset printing was doing and the mechanical steps it required, and said, “nah.” This technique skips the proofs, plates and rubber bed and applies a design directly to the printing surface, either with liquid ink or powdered toner.
The benefits of digital printing:
- Faster turnaround time
- Each print is identical. You risk fewer odd variations caused by imbalances in water and ink.
- Cheaper for low volume jobs. The price per unit drops for offset printing, so at some point, they crisscross.
- Changing information within a single print job. For example, say you were printing out postcards advertising a concert. You could actually change the dates and locations for part of the batch to create two sets of cards for two shows.
The drawbacks of digital printing:
- Fewer options in materials you can print on
- Less color fidelity is possible with digital printing because digital jobs use standard inks that cannot exactly match all colors. Offset jobs use specially mixed inks, which will always be a closer match. Digital is improving and getting closer with blended inks, but those inks still do not match as well as a custom mix.
- Higher cost for large-volume jobs
- Slightly lower quality, sharpness and crispness
Offset printing, also called lithography, is the most common kind of printing for high volume commercial jobs. Ever seen videos of newspapers running through big rolls? That’s offset printing.
Here’s how it works:
- First, the printer burns the design onto metal plates—one for each color. Typically, four colors are used (cyan, magenta, yellow and black (key), abbreviated CMYK), but offset printing also allows for custom ink colors (most notably Pantone colors) to be used instead.
- Next, the design is transferred from the plates onto rubber rolls. The different colors of ink are spread onto the rubber and then the paper is run between them. The paper goes through all of the rolls, layering on the color, to get the final image.
The benefits of offset printing:
- Superior image quality that is reliable. Count on offset printing for clean, distinct type and images without streaks or spots
- Better color fidelity, which refers to both the accuracy of the colors and their balance in the design. Because offset printing can mix custom color inks for each job, it’s naturally going to get the colors spot-on.
- Works equally well on almost any kind of material.
- For large volume jobs, you get more for your money. It costs a lot to start an offset job. You have to invest money into creating the plates, which takes time. However, once you’ve invested it, all of the materials are ready to go, and you’ll actually spend less on big offset jobs than a digital print, which is about same per piece no matter how big the job gets.
The drawbacks of offset printing:
- High cost of low-volume jobs
- Longer timetable since plates need to be created
- Worse fallout in case there’s an error. If you don’t catch a typo on a plate and ruin a batch it’s harder to fix and the process starts all over again.
``Stop selling. Start helping.`` - Zig Ziglar
How can Velocity Printing help your business succeed today?