Reviewing Offset Printing

Article by Carol Gracias

The commonly used technique of printing is Offset Printing which works by transferring an inked image from a plate to the surface to be printed through a rubber blanket. While using this technique in collaboration with lithography, based on the repulsive technique of water and oil, offset uses a flat carrier of image which takes ink from rollers on the image to be printed whereas the area not to be printed gets covered by a water based film to restrain it from printing.

The history of development of Offset Printing started with 1875 when England resident Robert Barclay started it on tin and it went upto 1903 when US resident Ira Washington Rubel started it on paper. Those were the time when printing on tin was much popular as tin being the most popular material for packaging goods in early 19th century. Initially the technique of lithography was being used for printing, being a low cost technique, but it could be used only for flat and porous surfaces as limestone was used to form printing plates. The offset printing technique was discovered in 1843 when Richard March Hoe introduced cylindrical plate of metal instead of flat stone. Thus gradually Offset Printing developed to the present position by facing many changes in the meantime.

Even today, with the advancement and introduction of various other techniques, Offset Printing is considered to be the best and cost efficient technique that is used to produce large, voluminous and superior quality prints economically if a proper maintenance is provide to the machines. Lithographic Offset printing technique is still commonly used technique for large quantity of products like magazines, newspapers, books, stationery, brochures etc. the quality of printing has been improved to a great extent by using computer to the printing plates of offset press instead of connecting computer to workflow films.Benefits of Offset Printing

Constant high quality of images: the clean and sharp images can be produced through offset technique as compared to letterpress technique since the rubber blanket complies with the grains of printing surface.

Printing plates lasts long: the life of such plates is longer than that of lithographic plates as they never come in contact directly to the printing surfaces. These plates can be used for much longer period if they are properly developed and are run with ample quantity of fountain solution and inks.

Low cost printing: for printing in large quantity for commercial purposes then offset printing is the cheapest high quality printing technique.

Drawbacks of Offset Printing

Poor printing quality than modern techniques: the anodized aluminum plates used gets chemically oxidized and can print in the non-printing regions if not cared properly.

Costly process for small quantity of printing as the cost of plates and other accessories will be much higher than other techniques like digital offset printing.

Carol is an expert article author, sharing the information about online printing and offset printing through article, news, press release and blogs. For more information on print product and online printing visit our website.

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