What Is Offset Printing?
Offset printing is perfect for large volume print runs, spot colors, and special effects, including varnishes. The technique usually involves using the process colors of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) to build the colors of any image. Spot colors are typically Pantone ink colors. Rather than combining process colors to achieve the appearance of a particular hue, the ink is already the correct color—similar to screen printing.
The use of plates to transfer ink to a rubber blanket which in turn transfers the ink to paper
Increasing Your Reach With Offset Printing
One of the most effective ways to utilize offset printing is with direct mail. In a recent study by the Direct Marketing Association, “79% of consumers will act on direct mail immediately.” There is also a lot of versatility with direct mail due to all the different marketing materials you can produce for mail.
Examples of direct mail:
Offset Printing vs. Digital Printing
Offset printing is the best choice for large quantity print runs because of its color consistency. It also tends to produce a higher quality piece, more accurate color, and a cleaner finish. However, it requires large and expensive equipment, highly trained press operators, and longer turn times.
Digital printing uses toners and ink to print directly onto the paper like a giant version of a home printer. Though the quality tends not to be as high as offset, you can still get a quality print that is faster and less expensive. Digital printing is suited more for small to medium-sized quantities. The drawbacks of digital printing are color matching and paper and size limitations.
Once the cost is determined, it boils down to quality. We even offer in-house digital printing at Peabody, a great solution for many jobs, but it’s really apples and oranges. Offset printing, by its very nature, will produce richer, more accurate results.
Is Offset Printing Right for You?
While the initial cost may seem high, most of that is in the upfront setup. Once a project is on press, the increased cost to run thousands of copies becomes nominal. You can print a large quantity at once for a comparable price of doing multiple low-quantity digital runs. If the piece includes spot colors or varnish, then offset printing is the only choice.