Offset printing is a form of printing technology that uses metal plates, usually made out of aluminum, that can transfer images onto rubber “blankets”, followed by rolling and transferring that image onto paper. This method is known as “offset” printing because ink is never directly transferred onto paper. There are a number of advantages to using offset printing, and we will discuss five of them here.
1. Offset printing is often the best option when large volumes of images need to be printed, and the color reproduction must be crisp, accurate, clean, and an all-around professional-grade photo. This method is typically used with books, brochures, magazines, newspapers, and stationery.
2. Not only are the images better for higher-volume image printing, the overall cost factor for using offset printing is beneficial to the print shop. The more that gets printed each cycle, the greater the reduction in the price for each piece of print.
3. Offset printing will work on a wide variety of printing surfaces. This includes cloth, leather, metal, various grades and types of paper, plastic, and wood.
4. Many of the more modern offset printing presses utilize computer onto plate systems in place of computer onto film — the previous type of work flow. The switch to computer to plate printing presses has also resulted in higher quality images.
5. The ink, which often fades and runs out when using methods of direct printing, is more controllable with offset printing. The operator controls the flow of ink by twisting and screwing keys. This helps to minimize wasted prints resulting from insufficient contrasts. Also, the printing plates can be made quickly and easily, and have the capability to provide a million impressions.