Using an Internet-based industry survey, the differences and similarities of offset and digital print demerits within the print industry are examined. Running parallel to this examination is a look at the extent to which demerit-based quality assurance procedures exist within the printing industry. The survey findings indicate that offset and digital printing processes share common color-related print demerits.
What differentiates offset print demerits from digital print demerits can be attributed to two factors: (1) technology differences and (2) printing standards. Offset printing, given the multitude of material choices, produces more frequent print demerits, relating to non-conforming materials. Digital print demerits more likely result from technical constraints such as addressability and resolution. The other factor associated is a lack of printing standards for digital printers.
While both processes show a high frequency of color-related problems, offset print providers have more tools and standards available for addressing these problems. Digital print providers, on the other hand, have few color standards or tools for solving similar problems. When examining procedures for defect prevention, the general lack of digital printing standards makes the use of formal quality assurance procedures difficult. Offset print providers are more likely to have formal quality assurance procedures for dealing with frequent and severe print demerits and formal procedures for how customer quality requirements are communicated.