Businesses that have little experience with designing custom product packaging end up surprised when the final product fails to look identical to the prototype. Unfortunately, the printing output could never match 100% of what we see on the screen because there is a variation between the color output of the digital monitor and real-time print.
The quality of output can be regulated based on the printing process to resemble the design very closely. It really depends upon the type of priming used. Most custom product packaging is priming either using digital printing methods or offset printing plates.
What is Offset Printing?
Offset printing is also called lithography or lithographic printing. It is one of the most widely used printing techniques. It adds a lot of value to applications by providing high-quality, fast, and efficient results. Typically, it is used for mass production, including maps, signage, brochures, magazines, and packaging.
Offset printing uses plates for each color used in the printing process. It is a printing press technique that transfers the ink from a plate to a rubber plate and then to various substrates to produce high-quality images and designs.
What is Digital Printing?
Digital technique is a newer technique: lt processes your designs from a computer and prints directly on the products. Its two options of applying tones and liquid ink will offer high quality and speed for smaller print projects. Digital printing is a popular method for those who require a modern crisp finish and a printing method that can also be done in-house.
Examples of continuous-feed printers for digital printing include cut-sheet digital presses and sheet-fed and inkjet production printers. Digital printing is also perfect for data capability, the first main detractor for offset printing. It works wonders when each piece of material needs a unique name, code, and address, as well as impeccable design, color, layout, or copy. If you are going to start an online business, digital printing is best for custom shipping products.
Why Should I Use Digital Printing?
It comes with many advantages, including:
- It is cost-effective and the best solution for those who only need a few prints. It’s even more cost-effective in black and white.
- Print the exact amount that you need
- It’s faster as you don’t need the whole process of the screen method.
Why Should I Use Offset Printing
Let’s have a look at the few benefits you can see when choosing offset printing for your application:
- It creates hues outside the standard printing method that uses pre-mixed inks such as metallic and Pantone colors;
- The result of the print is a lot richer and clearer by using ink instead of toner.
- It is beneficial when you are doing food packaging on a large scale.
- Product packaging wholesale can use offset printing because it includes printing the same designs in bulk over the long term.
Digital vs. Offset Printing Pros and Cons
Digital printing does not use plates to transfer ink to paper, while offset printing transfers ink from a plate to a rubber sheet and then rolls onto paper, vinyl, or other surfaces. The truth is that both are ideal for professional printing projects, but they all bring particular benefits depending upon requirements.
2) Minimum Order Quantity
One of the main differences between digital and offset printing is the minimum volume required to place an order. Offset printing ends up cost-effective over the long term as your company has larger order runs for the same packaging design. Due to the costly setup for custom plates, a large deposit is required. The minimum order quantity for offset printing is usually several thousand units. On the other hand, digital printing offers lower minimum quantities for your orders, oftentimes as a single unit. There is no up-front cost involved since no plates need to be used or created, which is a big money saver. This method ends up being significantly more economical for small orders.
Digital vs. Offset Printing -The Verdict
Digital printing requires less commitment and ends up costing less for small order runs. For these reasons, it is the go-to method for smaller businesses and brands that want to invest less in capital up-front.
The most significant difference between the two methods of printing lies in their initial step. While digital printing transfers a file from a digital sphere into a physical copy, offset printing requires a few more steps. First, the design needs to be finalized and custom metal plates need to be constructed.
This is not only time-consuming but also the most expensive part of the process. Remember that this is the case for each design. This means if there are changes to be made after the first prototype, an entirely new set of plates needs to be created. Digital is ideal for designing custom packaging box prototypes since the blueprint might be altered several times before being finalized.
2) Lead Time
As mentioned above the time-consuming process involved in offset printing means that it can be slow to get a project started. Offset printing was designed for large-scale production, not a quick-turn round. Most small businesses, however, will appreciate the streamlined process of using digital printing. For small runs, digital is the best choice in terms of turnaround time.
Digital Printing Small, Needs
Watching your packaging come to life through printing can be an extremely rewarding process. Offset printing is more economical if you are printing a single design in bulk over the long term. The journey from design to realization can be overwhelming, so remember to keep your end product in mind. If you pay attention to your custom product packaging, the depth of the color and detail required for your design, the desired turnover time, and the budget allocated to your custom packaging, you can set realistic expectations that leave you with a satisfying end result. Many e-commerce businesses will benefit from the advantage of digital printing for packing and budget-friendly operations.
Digital printing is beneficial for small businesses and offset printing is beneficial for large-scale operations. You can use both for increasing businesses’ sales.