WHAT IT IS: Offset lithography or litho, for short, is the most common printing method whereby the inked design is transferred from the printing plate to a rubber blanket and then onto the paper. All lithography presses work basically the same way, whether they are sheet-fed or web, running a huge roll or ‘web’ of paper.
BEST USES: Metallic, fluorescent and custom Pantone (PMS) inks along with standard CMYK process colors to provide a virtually limitless range of effects. Paper stocks thick and thin, toothed or smooth grip with exacting register and can be combined with other processes such as foil stamping.
WHAT IT IS: Digital printing is ideal for short runs. Designs are printed directly onto a variety of substrates using electroink technology. This digital ‘ink’ does not require additional drying time like conventional offset printing, allowing for more rapid production and finishing.
BEST USES: Quick turnaround and short print runs. While custom PMS colors are sometimes available, metallics and fluorescents are not. Generally speaking, the entire CMYK gamut is achievable.