Offset printing, the predominant method of commercial printing all around the world has been primarily used since the 20th century. This printing form has been employed by many organisations and businesses across all industries when mass printing production is required.

Hillier Industries, being regarded as the pioneer offset printing company in Singapore, uses UV rotary offset printing machines to provide quality customised decals as well as label and sticker printing services, which are great way to help your business achieve event success. While the concept is not new, our 21st-century equipment allows for cost-effective, reliable, and efficient printing.

In this article, we will be diving deep into the fundamentals of commercial offset printing and some of its differences with digital printing.

What is offset printing?

Offset printing, also known as offset lithography, works on the fundamental principle: water and ink do not mix. Image information, be it text or art, is placed on thin metal plates, which are then dampened using ink and water by rollers on the press.

The water adheres to the non-image area, while the oil-based ink adheres to the image area. The inked area is then transferred to a rubber cylinder, then onto the paper as it goes around it. This printing process is called offset because the image does not go directly to the paper from the plates. Rather, it is transferred to another surface and then the paper.

Why should your business use offset printing?

The benefits that commercial offset printing offers are that the end product is of high quality and the best value for money for high-volume quantities.

  • Excellent printing quality: Offset printing produces high-quality design and images as well as accurate, rich colour, with fine details and sharp typefaces.
  • Low price per piece: Since the bulk of the printing cost is in the set-up, the more you print, the lesser you pay per piece.

Offset printing vs digital printing

Digital printing, unlike offset printing, works by transferring the colour directly onto another medium. The most common forms of digital printers are solid ink printers, inkjets, and toner. While digital printing has evolved since offset printing was known as the most effective printing form, it works best for last-minute jobs requiring on-demand printing or small quantity runs.

When deciding between digital or offset printing, consider the following factors:

  • Print cost: Offset printing jobs might come with a higher starting cost, but it reduces significantly with volume. The more you print, the lesser the individual cost. With digital printing, the price per piece stays the same regardless of your project size. Hence, it can get pretty costly if you are mass printing.
  • Print volume: The benefit of offset printing applies when your project is significant enough to overcome the starting cost; typically, over 500 pieces demand the need for offset printing. However, if your project is not big enough, then going for digital printing might be a more cost-effective method.
  • Colour quality: One of the main advantages of offset printing is the quality of the colour it produces. Offset printing allows for high-end quality colours that are consistent and uniform throughout the project. While modern digital printing can produce similar quality, offset printing still trumps it.
  • Print speed: Creating printing plates for offset printing requires time. Hence, if you are looking for on-demand, last-minute printing, digital printing is the way to go.
  • Print size: Offset printing can handle much larger print sizes as compared to digital printing. Hence, if you are looking to print large-format items, such as decals, offset printing is the way to go.
  • Finishing options: Offset printing can produce excellent results on virtually any material, with finishing options such as embossing, foil stamping, and varnish.


Hillier Industries offer high-end offset printing services at competitive pricing. If you have a larger printing project and you are looking for unparalleled print quality, then do not hesitate to contact our team to inquire more. We also offer other printing services, such as screen printing and die-cutting printing. The best way to determine which printing technique best suits your business’s needs is to contact our team. We will guarantee full commitment and quality services to all customers.