Offset Printing

The Offset Printing Process and Its Advantages

The process of custom printing using plates to transfer images into surfaces like papers is called offset printing. It is an old method of printing that has developed through time. Offset printing was invented because of the need to have low cost production for commercial quantities of prints. As printing presses are invented they continuously evolved to modern printers. Nowadays, it uses a modern computer-to-plate technique when producing materials on printing surface.

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It is called offset because of the process on how inks are transferred to print an image. The ink is not directly pressed onto the paper; it uses plate cylinder where the image comes. From a metal plate, ink is distributed to an offset cylinder (rubber mat) before it is transferred directly onto the paper through an impression cylinder.

The process is done because the water and ink do not mix. The image is set on a printing plate. It is dampened by oil-based ink and water using rollers on the printing machine. The created image is transferred to the cylinder and then to the paper.

There are four colors used when printing on paper sheets or cardstocks. The color of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are mixed to form a final product with good color resolution.

Offset Printing: Benefits from Using an Offset Press to Produce Prints


  • Commercial quantities. Offset printing is popularly known for printing commercial quantities of prints. The plates are easier to produce and they are reusable. Businesses benefit from this because the printing cost is cheap.
  • Same quality on all prints. When printing in offset, the image quality is consistent on all produced pieces. Sharp, clean, and high quality image is done because the same amount of ink is transferred on all prints.

As a form of old type print production, offset printing is still used in spite of other modern type of printing method. Because of its capacity to make commercial quantities of prints with high quality results and cheap production cost, offset printing is a good choice for large numbers of printing projects.

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