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Digital printing is getting closer to offset printing, with each of these technologies having its reason. Offset printing is one of the oldest printing technologies. This is indirect printing, as the resultant image is first printed from a printing mold (flat or cylindrical) to a rubber cylinder and then to the paper. It is a wet printing process using printing ink, that is transferred from the mold to the printed material on the basis of the different physico-chemical properties of the printing and non-printing locations.

The cost of offset printing depends on the complexity of the printing preparations (you need to produce printing molds – CTP plates for each printing ink separately, you need to blend colours – CMYK, or direct such as Pantone, to set up the machine which is connected with a certain consumption of paper). These so-called "fixed costs" of preparing the machine are then spread into variable printing costs which are substantially dependent on the printed quantity.

Digital printing is based on digital image transfer. In laser technology, the resulting image is first applied to a photo cylinder using laser and subsequently to the paper, where it is thermally fixed. Ink technology prints the resulting image directly onto the printed material through piezo-print heads. As regards quality, digital printing is at a very high level.

The cost of digital printing is not dependent on the complexity of the preparations. Printing is done directly from print data without complicated machine setup. There is no need to allocate the fixed cost of preparation.

Digital printing will surely pay for smaller series, where it is significantly cheaper than offset printing. Also in terms of speed of execution of the contract and personalization of the prints.




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