Digital printing has been deemed best suited for smaller jobs while offset printing can handle bigger loads of printing. Both methods produce products high in quality and fit for professional use.

The technological differences between digital printing and offset printing affect the maintenance costs of the printers and purchasing price of the print products.

Digital printers are comprised of electrostatic rollers, called drums, which apply ink onto the papers. The drums, one colour each, employ an electrostatic charge that draws out the toner, in the form of toner density, and apply it to the sheet. The offset printers operate etched metal plates to ink sheets of paper. The mechanisms of offset printer are more tedious and costly. One metal plate, used per colour, is required to be engraved and fixated onto the rollers, which further applies the ink onto the paper. The offset press also needs a “warmup” session to completely ink the plates, during which, it runs on scrap sheets of paper which are later trashed.

Digital printing can print out a sheet of paper or copy of a booklet with minimal setup, but an offset printer requires more set up time and materials. The sheets of paper which are printed by an offset printer are cheaper compared to that produced by a digital printer. However, the savings provided by offset printers only matter if a thousand copies are needed of the same sheet because each differing sheet would require its plate.

Businesses requiring quick print content that is constantly changing choose digital printing. While businesses that print in high volume and do not change their content employ offset printers.

Regarding sheet sizes, digital printing commonly uses smaller 19” sheet sizes, with certain machines using sheets up to 29”. Offset printers can ink sheets sizes 29” and 40”. Items such as posters, books with large covers and brochures would require offset printers.

Offset printers provide greater colour control compared to digital printers. However, Digital printers offer quick turnaround time due to significantly little setup time. Shops equipped with digital printers can provide same day or next day printing services more efficiently compared to businesses with offset printers.

In our professional careers, we can all enjoy the quick turnaround of digital printers and high volume production of offset printers. Luckily, Fastech Services Ltd., located in Langley BC, offers a wide variety of printing and copy services for a large customer base ranging from students to professionals of all kind. Along with Reprographics, Fastech Services Ltd. also have over twenty years of drafting and design experience. The business also carries a large variety of drafting and drawing supplies.

Located on the 204th Street, Fastech Services Ltd. has been serving the Langley area for more than 30 years. View their range services and supplies at or give them a call at (604)533-5657.