OFFSET PRINTING, also called offset lithography, is a method of mass-production printing in which the images on metal plates are transferred (offset) to rubber blankets or rollers and then to the print media. The print media, usually paper, does not come into direct contact with the metal plates. The flexible rubber conforms readily to the print media surface, allowing the process to be used effectively on a large variety of different paper weights and and finishes..
The main advantage of offset printing is its high and consistent image quality. If a printed piece is color critical offset printing will provide the most accurate and pleasing color.The process can be used for small, medium or high-volume jobs.
In DIGITAL PRINTING, an image is sent directly to the printer using digital files such as PDFs and those from graphics software such as Illustrator and InDesign. This eliminates the need for a printing plate, which is used in offset printing. Without the need to create a plate, digital printing has brought about fast turnaround times and printing on demand. Instead of having to print large, pre-determined runs, requests can be made for as little as one print. While offset printing still often results in slightly better quality prints, digital methods are being worked on at a fast rate to improve quality and lower costs.
WIDE FORMAT PRINTING (aka large format) is a type of printing that is used to create larger printed works such as signs, vinyl banners, posters, wall murals, store displays, artist prints, and window graphics. This process typically requires a special digital printer that can handle larger sizes, often up to 100” in width. The use of inkjet technology gives these special printers the ability to print on a variety of materials, including glossy-coated paper and even on vinyl for signs and posters. The substrate is fed into the printer where ink is applied directly to the material. The printed material can then be laminated and mounted on different substrates depending on the end user’s needs.