Offset printing is one of several printing techniques used for professional quality productions.
The process of offset printing takes place when an image is transferred from one surface to another, typically rubber, before being applied to the final outcome of the equipment. One of the main benefits of using this printing method is the high quality that can be maintained whilst printing an incredibly high speeds – for this reason it is the chosen printing type for many newspapers, magazines, newsletters, comic books etc.
There are a number of different varieties of offset printing, including; blanket-to-blanket, blanket-to-steel, variable-size, keyless offset, dry offset.
Blanket-to-Blanket – Paper is fed between two blanket cylinders and is printed on both sides at the same time, this is suitable for printed productions that have images or text printed on the front and back side of a single page.
Blanket-to-Steel – Similar to sheet offset, this printing variation relies upon accurate pressure between the blanket cylinder and plate as is the squeeze between cylinder and substrate.
Variable-Size – This refers to any form of printing with a high degree of flexibility. Cases in which the printing units, inserts, multiple cylinders, turning bars etc. can all be altered without too much difficulty are referred to as variable-size print.
Keyless Offset – Excess ink is removed from the inking drum after each pass by the cylinder, ensures that fresh ink is used for each and every production and maintains arguably the highest quality of all printing methods using offset features. This is the most commonly used variation for printing newspapers.
Dry Offset – This method is usually only used for printing on plastic injection moulded items such as buckets, cups, and flowerpots. As a result the image is transferred to a rubber blanket before being applied to the substrate.
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