What Is Offset?

Offset Printing is a widely used printing technique where the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate first to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a film of water, keeping the nonprinting areas ink-free.

The advantages of offset printing include:

  • Consistent high image quality¬† sharper and cleaner than letterpress printing because the rubber blanket conforms to the texture of the printing surface.
  • Usability on a wide range of printing surfaces in addition to smooth paper (e.g., wood, cloth, metal, leather, rough paper).
  • Quick and easy production of printing plates.
  • Longer plate life than on direct litho presses because there is no direct contact between the plate and the printing surface. (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Four Color Process Printing
Heidelberg Equipment, Imagesetter High Resolution Printouts (3000 dpi photo quality).

Single Color to Full Color Printing
Hamada Equipment, LaserJet and Imagesetter High Resolution Printouts (up to 3000 dpi).

Product Tips
The use of color is commonplace in printing today. Whether your printed piece is a single use “flyer” or a lustrous product catalog, your readers’ eyes go to full color more quickly than to a single color piece.

Almost anyone can afford color. The secret is to make it visually appealing and to capture the color in your electronic files correctly. There are endless combinations of colors and special effects that can be printed or displayed on a monitor. Remember that the image you see on your monitor does not necessarily reflect the image you will get from the printing press.

If you would like to consult with us on an upcoming project, call us at 505-255-5585. For more information on color and HiFi color, check out Pantones’ web site at Pantone.com!

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