Several pointed misconceptions regarding digital printing and offset printing are used to sway customers of printed material in a different direction for their printing needs. Without evidence, a customer can be misled about the realities surrounding the most cost effective and efficient method of producing and packaging high quality printing products. As we all know fact or fiction can passed on by secondhand conversation or by baseless hear say by those who have an agenda.
When describing the misconceptions regarding digital printing and how it compares to offset printing, there seems to follow the statement that "Always stay with the tried and true." With this type of attitude, innovation, change and variety fly out the window. Let's take a look at some of these misconceptions or half truths.
1. The image quality of digital is not as high as that of offset printing.
In the fall of 2004 the Technology Watch Newsletter conducted a test in a scientific laboratory in Rochester, NY and concluded that digital printing had matched that of offset printing. Tested was the Xerox Docucolor ™ 8000 Digital Color Press with its 2400 dpi resolution and considered to be similar to the offset printing press. The iGen3 and Docucolor digital printing presses have the ability to mach about 80% of the Pantone color charts where as the Heidelburg reached about 67%. That demonstration was revealed five years ago.
2. Digital printing is too pricey.
While it is likely that the long production runs of offset printing are more cost effective today, as time passes, digital printing will shrinking that level of cost to a great degree. Ease of design, print on demand and product storage continues to push digital printing in the direction of efficiency. Digital printing is by far the least expensive source of printing for short runs, but those short runs are greatly increasing as the digital printing industry grows in technology and popularity.
3. Offset printing is the most widely used method of printing today.
This message is very subjective and requires some thought to determine its true meaning. We should first consider that perhaps a short press run has the same factor in total count as that of the medium to large runs when measuring the overall count. Also many offset printing companies today employ both forms of printing and include digital printing as a source to provide product flexibility, efficiency in delivery and personalized information to the end user. That being said, one must consider the fact that, small businesses vastly out number medium to large sized businesses. To add to that, many customers are home based businesses or just a person needing some invitations printed, and deserve the same attention as small businesses. Doesn't this count in the "most widely used method" scale? Breaking it all down, we can conclude that digital printing is the most widely used form of printing today. In the not too distant future, digital will unquestionably be considered the most widely used method of printing and have the numbers to back it up. Offset printing gets to ride shotgun.