Digital vs Offset Printing for Packaging: Which one to choose?

Offset Printing

Frequently occasions, particularly if you are a new comer to printing & packaging, you anticipate a particular color or quality to become created what is expected on screen.

The simple fact is, printing output cannot 100% match from what we should see around the monitor in line with the RGB versus CMYK color output theory.

Yes, the caliber of the output could be calibrated to imitate carefully as to the it ought to appear but it’ll rely on the process and technology that’s getting used.

This is when many business proprietors, designers and marketers encounter an issue when undergoing their first packaging project.

Within this guide, become familiar with how you can effectively choose the best printing for the packaging and comprehend the variations in output according to artwork objective, cost and options.

Digital versus Offset Print:

The 2 primary printing methods you should use for the packaging: offset lithographic printing or digital printing:

Offset Print:

Offset print uses metal plates layering color onto sheets in rapid succession. This is the way magazines and newspapers are usually made.

It provides superior image cost and quality efficiency for big-volume print runs, but is simply too costly for many low-volume projects and takes additional time to accomplish.

Digital Print:

Digital print, however, is when your house office laser or printing device works.

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It provides quick turnaround occasions and makes low-volume jobs affordable. It is also simpler to produce variable data print is run on an electronic printing press.

However, digital printers can’t quite match the colour fidelity and material versatility that offset printing offers.

Based on Smithers Pira, digital printing makes up about 16.4 % of worldwide print and packaging when it comes to value, only 3.9 % from the print industry’s volume.

This appears to strengthen the concept that digital printing is the greatest low-volume print choice.

But there’s more towards the question than simply evaluating print volume.

Keep the believed print volume in your mind and choose the best printing way of your packaging material.

Offset Printing


What Exactly Would You Choose?


Rigid packaging typically requires offset printing. If you are likely to print on luxury boxes, you may as well print in offset for the greatest quality possible.

Corrugated packaging can usually benefit from either digital or offset. Offset is more suitable for designs that need additional process for example place Ultra violet and foil rubber stamping and want a amount of over 1000 units.

For smaller sized runs and much easier designs for e-commerce packaging, digital is what you want.Paperboard packagingtypically requires offset specifically for cosmetic, pharmaceutical and small retail packaging.

Why? Offset provides clearer and much more vivid printing output for smaller sized texts and fashions.

Turnaround Time:

For small runs in corrugated, digital is the greatest choice when it comes to turnaround some time and offset for lengthy run. Offset can typically print faster in bigger volume.

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Quality Color Depth:

Although offset printing could be more costly, it will outshine digital printing with regards to brightness and color depth.

Offset printers be capable of make use of the Pantone Matching Color System to perfectly match inks, whereas digital printers are only able to approximate these colors using color calibration.

This offset printers may also print white-colored ink on kraft paper while digital cannot.

That type creates the clean, crisp, attractive color output that you simply see in stores while digital produces high quality for easier designs (ideal for e-commerce packaging).

Kinds of Coating:

Offset printing also enables for any greater number of coating, including matte & gloss laminate, Ultra violet, soft touch, and AQ coating while digital cannot.


Both of these printing methods can complement each other in many packaging orders.

It’s much simpler and much more cost-effective, for example, to make use of digital printing to produce packaging prototypes after which place the final packaging product through full production grade offset printing (although this could cause slight alterations in color during full production).


If you’re producing in corrugated, any orders less than 500 pieces should think about digital for cost-effective option and offset for pieces bigger than 1000-2000 pieces because of higher quality of printing.

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