There are many different types of printing methods and technologies available in the printing industry today, most of which are suitable for the production of a particular product range. I have compiled a brief explanation of the various printing techniques available to help you understand what option fits your future printing work.
What is offset printing?
The relationship between offset printing and digital printing can be compared to the vinyl record and CD or DVD. Offset printing uses analog technology plates and blankets, but produces a higher resolution printing and a much faster sheet speed than a digital press.
Configuring offset printing costs is higher than digital printing, but the cost per sheet is much lower. This traditional print style is usually used to manufacture a range of products such as business cards flyers magnets stickers brochures dual invoice books letterhead generally in 500 sheet drive sizes.
What does CMYK print mean?
CMYK full color is a variety of offset printing that creates colors and images with CMYK color spectrum. This technique combines different percentages of Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black to create any color. That means you can have many different colors or pictures in your artwork at a fixed price.
This process also allows printers to collect a number of different jobs that will simultaneously be printed on a larger sheet of plain stock. The advent of Aggregated printing has dampened the price of full color printing in recent years, especially for business cards letterhead flyers posters brochures magnets stickers notebooks etc.
Like any, there are some disadvantages of CMYK full color, such as the possibility of small variation in color between runs and inability to create some colors like metallic gold and silver. To avoid these issues, spot color or PMS printing may sometimes be an option.
Do I need PMS spot colors on my business cards?
Depending on your artwork CMYK is good for most patterns, but some colors require PMS spot color instead.
Spot color PMS printing is another variation of offset printing using specifically colored ink in the press, corresponding to the colors of the specific printout. PMS printing has been relevant due to the limitations of CMYK full-color printing, such as low color variation and inability to match a color. Although it is more expensive in most cases, PMS or "Spot color" is the most appropriate option when accurate color matching is a priority.
This method is usually used to print stationery and marketing materials for large companies who are very aware of color consistency.
When do you print with a digital printer?
Digital Printing is one of the latest printing technologies available to the market. Digital printing is a good option for small runs and extremely fast turnaround time. Set-up costs are much lower than offset printing, but cost per sheet is higher. The print resolution is not as good as offset printing, and some colors cannot be achieved because the color range is CMYK.
This technique is usually used to print small runs or urgent jobs. Flyers Postcards Drop Cards Business Cards Brochures Stickers Labels Posters etc.
Print banners with widescreen digital printers
Wide format is another type of digital print that is printed on rolls of media such as vinyl cloth etc. This machine also uses CMYK technology and is often used to print Banners. Vinyl stickers. Signal plates, etc.
Printing Signage with the Flat Bed printer
This is another variant of digital printing that can be printed on any flat surface and is often used to produce signs on foam plastic discs, etc. This extremely versatile process can also be used to create custom sales location showing print doors edge to edge boards, checkerboard, etc.