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From The Customer’s Viewpoint

So, which one is better, digital printing or offset printing? Well, most commercial printers in Kenya would not hesitate to give you their personal preference. The commercial digital printer would not hesitate to tell you that digital printing is better and the opposite would hold true for a commercial offset lithography printer.

At Pulsar, we apply both as each has its advantages and disadvantages. In any situation, we advise the client as appropriate on which technology to apply. As a customer, you should choose what is best for your brand according to your situation and budget. Below are a few questions you can go through before deciding.

  1. The first question is what are you printing? The nature of your publication will largely advise us on which method to apply. If you are printing a document with limited colours, one to three colours, then favour offset printing but not before asking the following question.
  2. How many are you printing? If what you are printing is one to three colours and is in excess of about 500 copies, then you are better off printing with offset printing. The cost of printing one unit goes down with every increasing quantity (at times in batches). But this is an estimate, our pricing calculator gauges for you which option is best.
  3. The third question is how fast? Digital printing is quite simple compared to offset printing. The pre-press preparation of digital printing could take minutes compared to hours or even days with an offset printer.
  4. The question of colour again. Offset printing’s colour matching has for a long time been unmatched. This is before digital presses could offer advanced colour management solutions to ensure near-perfect spot colours.

In summary, we would advise a client to use digital printing in the following cases:

And for offset printing:

  • When you have long runs i.e. printing in bulk, say in the thousands
  • When the materials in need are not as urgent

From a Technical Viewpoint

Offset printing has been around for centuries now and it’s quality is largely dependent on the skills of the operator. Others are quite negligent and simple basics such as cleaning parts of the machine such as the blanket or rubber cylinder is not observed giving the printed product a faded look.

Offset printing’s benchmark is the reproduction of crisp clean text. Clean in the sense that when observed very closely, there are no small particles of ink surrounding the imaged area. The imaging quality is excellent with some experts noting that it’s better than digital printers. But with advancements in technology, the two have become virtually indistinguishable especially to the untrained eye.

Digital printing has come of age and the number of substrates (or a variety of paper stocks) that can be printed on is ever-increasing. Some speciality printers can print up to 600 GSM of stock paper. The quality of the print is also increasing with its advantage of being able to accommodate a wider gamut of colours. This is especially so for those that use inkjet technology.

The size of paper used in digital printers is commonly limited to 12×18 inches. Digital printer manufacturers are not asleep though and we’ve seen some presses being able to accommodate paper as wide as 14.33×22.5 inches. Some go further and print banner lengths of up to 1.2 meters increasing the scope of the application.

This is however unmatched to that by offset printers being able to accommodate up to A1 sizes i.e. 23.386×33.11 inches.

All in all, as a client, you shouldn’t feel overburdened by these types of decisions. A good commercial printer gives the best case scenario to use for the product you are looking to print.

Need Something Printed?

When you come to Pulsar, we make it easy for you to choose. We give printing advice in simple and easy-to-understand terms. Ours is to partner with you to delivers consistency, and fast, ensuring your brand image maintains its highest standards. Explore what we print here or click the button below to request a quote.

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