What is offset printing

Offset printing is a term many of us have heard over and over again. It is no wonder it is so because offset printing is the most commonly used printing method today. Actually half of all commercial printing jobs are done using the offset printing method.

Also referred to as offset lithography, offset printing is a process of producing large volume print materials in which images embossed on metal plates are transferred to rubber rollers and then onto print media. To preserve the life of the metal plates, the rubber rather stamps the print material such as paper or canvas. Again, rubber makes it easy to print on uneven sauces such as cloth or wood.

Offset printing has many advantages over other forms of printing. One, it produces high quality and consistent image quality. There are two kinds of offset printing machines in use. We have the in sheet-fed offset printing whereby sheets of papers are slotted into the machine and web offset printing where high speed machines are fed with voluminous rolls of papers and then the pages segregated and trimmed later on.

In offset printing, the images that are to appear in the printed matter are first created on a computer and then transferred onto metal plates using technology similar to how we develop pictures from negatives in film photography.

Each day, we interact with offset printing in many forms but we ever hardly noticed this technology in publishing. From the printing of books, periodicals, magazines, leaflets, packages to brochure printing, offset printing is the driving force behind all these products. Infact, it is the very means through which all forms of printed media such as newspapers and the associated marketing power it holds all come into being. It would be difficult to exhaust all the possible applications of offset printing but it would suffice to say that the world would have been a different place without offset printing.

Offset printing has impacted on commerce than any other technology when it comes to printing and packaging. Many marketing campaigns and advertising have relied on offset printing and many businesses can attribute their success in a way or another to offset printing.