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Digital Offset Explored

It is true that full-color jobs have gotten significantly cheaper even with the invention of multi-million dollar offset and digital presses. It is critical to find the right printing firm that can offer you great prices on a variety of run sizes and paper types that fit the need of your company or organization.

Here is a basic breakdown of digital output versus offset press production. Remember, this is a complicated topic and jazpress.com is here to make these informed decisions with you.

Digital Printing vs. Offset Printing
Digital presses use toner which is applied to the paper with digital imaging units and a heat process. Offset presses use inks and metal plate technologies that press the image onto the sheet
The toners from digital presses are applied on top of the sheet of paper, instantly drying. The sheet absorbs Offset inks as they dry which creates a longer lasting image before it may wear off.
Digital presses use have a significantly less make-ready time, or time to prepare the press, which is ideal for fast, on demand printing Offset presses take longer to set up and therefore it may take longer to get your job printed
The ideal run is 150 – 2500 sheets. The decision is determined by the make-ready time versus cost of toner versus ink. Cost of ink is far less than toner, which makes the cost savings over longer runs ideal. Typically 1,500-5000 +
Proofing on a digital press is the actual reproduction of the piece and is easy and affordable to accomplish. You can see what exactly what you are getting. Actual proofing is not typically done on offset presses unless you would like an expensive exact duplicate. It is often recreated using a special inkjet printer
Lesser registration from front to back – usually 1mm, which on very tight cut jobs, can make a difference. This may be small but make sure you account for this with proper bleed settings and print margins. Greater precision and a tighter registration from side to side because of mechanical adjustments

Digital Printing Design Techniques:

Toner technology and minute micro particles have created colors that “pop.” Our digital press has the capability of producing 12 million color variations, far more than the eye can even see. To capitalize on these great colors we recommend the following:

For tri-folds, we recommend runs of 1,000 and up when there is a full bleed to protect from cracking along the folded edges. If you want less than 1,000 make sure that the color doesn’t move from page to page.

Text should be designed using the full colors of black, cyan or magenta with at least an 80 percent or higher transparency. This ensures full visibility of text.

Make sure you always print at 300 DPI or higher and always create your PDF’s as high quality print.

When creating gradients, be careful because when looked upon side to side the various shades of the color can appear to have breaks as the halftone range is not as good as screens on an offset press.

The blacks on digital presses are naturally vibrant so no color additions are needed. (Offset blacks are not as powerful so it is recommended to add 30% cyan, 15 % magenta and 15% yellow in addition to 100% black)

We have the knowledge and resources to provide you almost any solution you can think of. We tried to incorporate as much of this on our site as we could but to really explore the possibilities of printing and marketing, you should call one of our helpful production managers.

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