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Printing


OFFSET PRINTING



Offset printing, also referred to as offset lithography, is a type of printing process used by virtually all large commercial printers. It is called offset, because the ink is not directly pressed onto the paper, but is distributed from a metal plate to a rubber mat where it is then set onto the paper.

Offset printing can be done on a web printing press, one that use huge rolls of continuously fed paper, or a sheet fed press that, as you would expect, uses sheets of paper. Both types of presses produce printed materials that can be cut to size after printing. Offset printing uses all of the latest technology in printing, including computers that aid in design. Computers are also used to generate instructions for the mixture of ink colors as well as their distribution to the paper.

Advantages of Offset

  1. High image quality.
  2. Works on a wide range of printing surfaces including paper, wood, cloth, metal, leather, rough paper and plastic.
  3. The unit cost goes down as the quantity goes up.
  4. Quality and cost-effectiveness in high volume jobs. While today’s digital presses are close to the cost/benefit ratio of offset for high quality work, they are not yet able to compete with the volume an offset press can produce.
  5. Many modern offset presses use computer-to-plate systems as opposed to the older computer-to-film work flows, further increasing quality.


DIGITAL PRINTING



Advantages of Digital

  1. Shorter turnaround.
  2. Every print is the same. More accurate counts, less waste and fewer variations, due to not having to balance ink and water during press run.
  3. Cheaper low volume printing. While the unit cost of each piece may be higher than with offset printing, when setup costs are included digital printing provides lower per unit costs for very small print runs.
  4. Variable Data Printing is a form of customizable digital printing. Using information from a database or external file, text and graphics can be changed on each piece without stopping or slowing down the press. For example, personalized letters can be printed with a different name and address on each letter. Variable data printing is used primarily for direct marketing, customer relationship development and advertising.