Offset Print

Alongside digital printing, we also offer traditional lithography, also known as offset printing. Offset printing is normally something we would
suggest to you because of the design you have presented us with, or the volume required.

Often we’ll use offset printing in conjunction with digital printing to deliver the highest quality print at the best price possible.

As with every job we do, we’ll talk through the options with you and if we want to use offset we’ll explain why and what advantages it can offer.

Offset print can be the only option for larger items where digital has not caught up with the format size or where volumes dictate this is the more cost-efficient way.

Mixing both Digital and Offset comes in for applications where one side of the sheet is a common image but the second side is needed to be variable (personalised) or where the second side has multiple versions. This could be on a mailing of postcards, a batch of scratchcards, multiple brochures or where the reverse of literature is unique to one of many outlet shops plus so much more…

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.

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 database.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dry offset printing is the same process as offset printing without using water in the inking system, instead UV light is used.

Wet offset printing is when the the plate is dampened in order to transfer the image.

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