Offset printing, also called offset lithography, or litho-offset, in commercial printing. It is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. The rubber blanket gives great flexibility, permitting printing on wood, cloth, metal, leather, and rough paper.
The main advantage of offset printing is its high and consistent image quality. The process can be used for small, medium or high-volume jobs. There are two types of offset printing machines in common use for publication today. In sheet-fed offset printing, individual pages of paper are fed into the machine. The pages can be pre-cut to the final publication size or trimmed after printing. Offset Printing is great for business cards, letterhead, catalogues, books/booklets, business forms, flyers, brochures, calendars, invitations and so much more. It offers the best price per piece in the printing industry.
It is also the highest quality printing process in the industry. The process produces prints with rich, smooth solids without the streaking found in lesser quality prints. Actual inks are used, not toner. The look and feel of any offset product come across as more professional.
Modern Offset Printing
Modern offset lithography printing presses use an updated version of the same basic idea in which the stone is replaced with a thin metal printing plate. First, the image to be printed is transferred photographically to the plate. The parts of the plate from which the image is printed are coated with lacquer (clear varnish), so they attract ink, while the rest of the plate is coated with gum, so it attracts water. The metal plates are curved around a printing cylinder and press against a series of rollers, which dampen them with water and then brush them with ink. Only the lacquered parts of the plate (those that will print) pick up ink. The inked plate presses against a soft rubber (offset) cylinder, known as the blanket cylinder, and transfers its image across. The blanket cylinder then presses against the paper and makes the final print.
One of the important functions in the printing process is prepress production. This stage makes sure that all files are correctly processed in preparation for printing. This includes converting to the proper CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) colour model, finalizing the files, and creating plates for each colour of the job to be run on the press.
The technology of offset printing is at a higher level than other printing techniques because:
- Long – lasting Excellent Quality End Result – different techniques present undetermined stage of quality, which is not the case here. Precise, clean and clear illustrations can be predicted just about with every printing job due to the reason that the fine layer of rubber adheres to the printing surface.
- Fast and simple construction of printing plates.
- The durability of Printing Plates – usually the plates in offset techniques lasts for a good amount of time for the reason that print surface and printing plate don’t come into straight interaction.
- Investment – Offset printing is known as the most inexpensive technique to create an excellent quality printed product in industrial quantities.
At Sterling Print House, we are using the sheetfed offset press for printing calendars, invitation cards, brochures, leaflets, menu cards, etc… For our customized services contact our office in Cochin.