Steve Bearden

What is Offset Printing?

The most dominant industrial printing technique in the printing industry is offset printing. The process has been around since the early 20th century and is used today for a vast amount of products: everything from stationary and magazines to books, leaflets, boxes, cartons, cards, and more.

The core principal behind offset printing is that ink and water do not mix. As images are placed onto water-moistened plates, layers of ink are then applied onto the plates. The ink adheres to the image, and the water moves away from the image. Then, the image is transferred to a rubber blanket, and is later applied to a printing surface of choice. This process can be used for printing on a wide range of materials, including paper, plastic, cardboard, or any other flat surface. 

Also known as offset lithography, the process of offset printing is so-named because the image itself does not go directly to the paper from the plates as it does in other printing processes. As a result, offset printing ensures rich colors, sharp typefaces, and the finest details at the most affordable prices – especially if you’re printing in bulk.

Benefits of Offset Printing

  • Offset printing offers the best price per print in the printing industry
  • Offset printing ensures the highest quality prints in the industry
  • Offset printing accommodates a huge variety of paper types
  • Offset printing enables printers to incorporate fluorescent, metallic, and other custom inks
  • Offset printing presses are incredibly fast – up to 18,000 sheets an hour

The biggest expense in offset printing comes from the initial setup phase. Afterward, it only costs a few cents (mostly for the cost of paper and ink) per print. When you need to print in large volumes, such as for political campaigns, magazines, newsletters, brochures, booklets, calendars, etc., choosing offset printing is almost always the most cost-efficient option.

Offset Printing Vs. Digital Printing

Digital printing is a major competitor to offset printing in the print industry. Many businesses opt for digital printing for its simplicity and affordability when they need a short-run print job. For instance, if you needed your print job handled the same day you ordered it, a digital printing service might be right for you. Digital printing also allows for a number of variables in every print job, making it a strong choice for direct mail campaigns which need unique addresses, sequentially numbered forms, and images printed at differing sizes.

How Linemark Can Help You Achieve Your Print Marking Goals

Ultimately, whether you choose offset printing or digital printing is up to you, your business, and your specific print marketing goals. Whether you want the best quality imaginable, or need high-quality prints ready-to-go ASAP, all you have to do is let your preferred custom printing partner know. If they’re up to the task, they can guide you in the right direction and help you accomplish just about any printing task you set your mind to.

At Linemark, we’re proud to provide both offset printing and digital printing services for our valued customers. To learn more about both printing processes and to find out which one works best for your custom print marketing goals, contact the Linemark team today.

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