Digital Printing vs Offset for Alteriors Gift Cards

by Steve Zelle, Graphic Designer, Ottawa Canada

A recurring barrier often arises when discussing branding projects with clients—printing costs. The setup costs and large minimum quantities required by traditional printing can often exceed a clients’ available budget. This applies in particular when a company wants to test out a new marketing idea.

Traditional offset printing requires large presses, costly setup, and expensive running time. The results are fantastic, with the best colour accuracy, choice of stock, and techniques but it can be more than a client is willing to spend.

Digital printing allows you to produce as little as one item, on demand. An example of digital printing is your inkjet or laser printer. Print companies like Moo provide digital printing services using equipment that allows printing on larger sheets and various paper stocks, and with a variety of customization options. The results are impressive and inexpensive but not without a few drawbacks. The greatest are that colour accuracy can be lacking, and on close inspection, the dot pattern created by the printer may be visible.

Alteriors gift card (fronts) by Ottawa Graphic Designer idApostle

These postcard sized gift cards for Ottawa modern furniture store Alteriors were produced with digital printing by Moo on their Luxe stationery. This particular stock is four layers of compressed paper with a seam of colour running through the middle—in this case, black.

Alteriors gift card (detail) by Ottawa Graphic Designer idApostle

Alteriors gift card (front and back) by Ottawa Graphic Designer idApostle

Alteriors gift card (back) by Ottawa Graphic Designer idApostle

These gift cards for Alteriors were produced in a very small quantity, delivered within a few weeks (faster delivery is available), allowed us to use multiple photographs, and are very cost-effective.

While I love offset and letterpress printing, there are occasions when digital printing is a better choice.

You can see more work for this client in Alteriors: Branding and logo design.

Categories / Ottawa / Printing

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