Digital vs. Offset Printing

January 21, 2010

What’s the difference? Well, that’s what I’m obviously here to tell you.

First we’ll start off with the tried-and-true offset printing.

With offset printing, you get the best image quality which would be perfect if image quality will be an issue. Why this is true is because a lot of today’s presses uses a computer-to-plate system which is better than the earlier computer-to-film system. Film was bad because it had a good chance of getting scratched, and that scratch will show up on the final piece of artwork. Also, offset printing works with a wider range of printing mediums: Paper, Clothing, Wood, and much more.

You also get the ability to have your choice of 1 color, 2 color, 3 color, and 4 color printing (and sometimes 6 color). Digital presses can only do CMYK (4 color).

The biggest factor advantage with offset (to me, at least) is that as you request more units to print, the price of each individual unit goes down. For example, if you order 1000 #10 Envelopes, each envelope will individually cost $.28 while order 5000 units will only cast $.10 each!

On to the digital presses…

With digital, they only have an ability to print in CMYK 4-color process only (as I have stated before). Also, color accuracy does suffer a bit with this and are only able to print on paper.

Print layout accuracy and efficiency is much better on a digital press because ink and water doesn’t need to be balanced.

But the biggest thing is the price of digital presses. 4 Color press jobs on a digital press will rival those prices of a 2 color job on an offset press.

If you need something in a moments notice, the offset printing might take a long time because they have to make the plate, set the inks, load the paper, then you to get your prints. But with a digital press, the turn around time is much much quicker than that because there is less work to do to set it up.

Well, you made it through the article.

Have any questions?

Post ’em below.



Free Stock Image! Every week!

January 20, 2010

iStockPhoto’s Free Image of the Week

As a graphic designer, it’s very important that you have an arsenal of stock photography/graphics. Even though you might have the equipment to take your own photo, or the ability to create your own graphic, it’s always nice to have something to fall back on in case you don’t have time.

Now, I read a GDUSA magazine that said over 95% of graphic designers out there use stock images. I was wondering how that number isn’t 100%. To me, stock imagery is important for every designer to have because you never know what your next project is and what kind of imagery you’ll need for it.

So if you’re a new graphic designer, start collecting all the stock images you can (REMEMBER! Read the copyright on all the imagery. Some people who hold the rights to the image won’t allow resale without being paid royalties). Start off by collecting iStockphoto’s free images every week.

Don’t be afraid to use stock imagery. All designers do it, and you should too!

Some of my favorite sites to go to for imagery:

Stock Exchange

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Jot it below.

Run Run

What’s Two Color Printing?

December 31, 2009

To a veteran designer, you might disregard this post. But to a rookie, this may be informative to you. I’m sure you’ve seen it at almost every print place you have gone to. Such number combinations of 2/1, 4/2, and even 6/4. Well, I’ve stumbled upon a quick guide to tell you the difference between them all.

Well I didn’t necessarily stumble upon it…:)

But consider this guide a handy resource for those who don’t know much about color options.

Fun Fun