The Difference Between Offset And Digital Printing

At GH companies we offer two different ways to print large posters: offset or large format digital.

Offset printing is a process that separates an image into 4 plates, one each of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black color values. Each plate transfers it’s part of the image to a rubber blanket, which then imprints the paper. Because there are a few steps involved, this process should only be used for printing large quantities of 250 or more to be cost-effective. Offset printing produces a consistent, high-quality image that is more crisp and clear than what digital printing produces. However with offset printing, you can’t print posters larger than 24” x 36”.

Large format digital printing is a much simpler process that prints digitally based images directly onto paper. It’s a great option if you have a smaller quantity (25) or if you need a poster printed quickly. It also allows you to print larger posters than offset printing presses can produce. Large Format Digital printing is also used for variable data when you want to customize each print.

Digital printing produces a slight loss in image detail compared to an offset print, so if your art has a lot of detail or small text, you may be more satisfied with the quality of offset printing.

Here are the key points to consider when debating between offset or digital printing.

Offset Printing
• Large Quantities
• High Image Quality
• Longer Turn-Around Time
• Limited Size

Digital Printing
• Low Cost Short Runs
• Variable Data (Customization of each print)
• Less Steps
• Can Print At Any Size

Contact your GH Sales Consultant to help determine which printing process would be best suited for your job, or visit to learn more.