Before the advent of commercial digital printing technology, the only printing option available to businesses for commercial printing services was offset printing, also known as commercial lithographic printing. The lithography process applies wet ink to the surface of an image on a printing plate. That image is transferred to a blanket roller, that is then transferred onto the desired print material. Offset printing remains one of the most common and affordable ways to create large volume print projects that also delivers high-quality printing, color and graphic sharpness. One drawback is that offset printing doesn’t allow for customization. That’s where commercial digital printing has an advantage. It’s less costly for smaller projects and, because the source of the image is in a digital format, digital printing can use variable data printing to personalize direct mail print advertisements and promotions.

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