What is offset printing?
Offset printing involves preparing unique printing plates for each colour.
The design is transferred to the printing plate using a laser. Then the plates
are loaded into the printing press and ink is transferred to them. The inked
plates are pressed into contact with a rubber blanket and the print image is
transferred. This is then transferred back from the blanket to the paper
producing the final printed item.
How does it differ from digital printing?
Litho print uses a static image and therefore will require collation after
the pages are printed, where as digital can print pages in sequence like your
desktop printer but in far better quality and speed. Also due to the image
being static on Litho any numbering, codes or addressing has to be done by a
separate process after the print run. Digital also has advantages as it can
print multiple version of a document and have changing images driven by a
Digital printing is simply a different technique of printing. The choice
between the two generally comes down to cost. Litho has set up costs, but the
ongoing costs are less. If you're doing a large print run, it might make sense
to stick with offset.
Is offset printing better at colour matching?
Though you might hear that offset printing is better at colour matching this
isn't really true. This comes down to the type of digital printer used. If you
match Litho print against our digital press some jobs look better litho and
some better digitally. Generally we will hit more vibrant colours digitally,
but smoother flat colours with Litho.
Does it cost more than digital printing?
As with all print jobs it depends! Though the initial set up for offset
printing costs more, the ongoing costs are actually less. Remember though, that
a lot of our jobs aren't either digital or offset printing. We'll quote you for
each part of the job once we have a complete picture of how we can get your
design looking exactly how you want and at the best cost.
How did offset printing get its name?
Offset printing most likely got its name because of the actual printing process that takes place. The image is transferred or "offset" during the process.
What is dry offset printing?
Dry offset printing is the same process as offset printing without using water in the inking system, instead UV light is used.
What is wet offset printing?
Wet offset printing is when the the plate is dampened in order to transfer the image.