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The Differences Between Offset Printing & Digital Printing

By on October 14th, 2021 in Print

With 2021 marking 60 years since our founding, LKCS has been able to not only survive, but thrive! Thanks to the dedication, innovation, and commitment of our staff, LKCS has been on the forefront of technology since the beginning.

Offset Printing

In 1961, our founder, Norb Dudek, took a great leap of faith when he decided to open an offset printing shop. Prior to offset printing, letterpress had been the main method of printing since 1440! Offset printing came with many advantages, such as quicker print speeds, higher resolution photos, and for the first time, the ability to print multiple colors at once. Given that offset printing was a new process, it was certainly a gamble, but one that’s rewards are still evident today.

In the spring of 2021, LKCS acquired a new offset printing press. Its process is still the same as what Norb started with, but streamlined in many ways. Our new Komori printing press is equipped with features such as:

  • Semi-automatic plate hanging
  • Automated washups
  • Automated ink adjustment

There are many more high-tech features to ensure fast and efficient operation, both when the press is running, and during setup between jobs. The offset printing process involves preparing printing plates that the design is transferred onto. The number of plates needed corresponds to the number of colors used. Full color requires 4, two-color 2, and one-color 1. The offset printing process allows us to produce products in high volumes, at high speeds. Our new press allows us to continue to make this process quicker and more efficient to ensure we are ready for any job we’re tasked with.

Digital Printing

Over the years, we also broke into another avenue of printing, this was digital printing. As time went on, our arsenal of digital laser printers has kept growing. These consist of a combination of both black and white, as well as color laser printers. We currently have 16 black and white, and 10 color. More color printers are also in the works.

The great advantage that digital printing has over any other form is its variable data capabilities. Unlike an offset press, there are no printing plates that are used to print the piece, it projects unique data onto a drum that’s able to transfer and print it right to the paper. This offers an unmatched ability in personalization and simplicity. Although digital print speeds are much slower than the offset printing presses, that can be compensated with the quantity of printers. The laser printers are much easier to operate and require much less training. They have evolved into a very important aspect of our business.

Since its founding, LKCS has branched out to offer many different products and services, though printing remains as one of our core services. Innovation and adaptation are key to survival. The continued innovation and investment into both digital and offset printing has helped us immensely as we continue to grow and soar past the 60-year mark. Both aspects of printing serve their purpose and provide vital roles in our operations. Who knows what the printing industry will look like 60 years from now!