Book ResourcesPrinting Methods

Offset Printing

Offset Printing

Offset printing uses plates, usually made from aluminum, which pick up ink and transfer the image onto a rubber ‘blanket’, which then transfers this ink onto your paper. Depending on the number of colours in your artwork you build up different layers of ink. You may have heard of CMYK, which stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black). This allows for a ‘full’ colour print, where the colours mix together on the page to produce your designed look.

Why Choose Offset Printing?

Offset printing is best for large print runs, and allows for crisp, clean professional printing across all your different pages with accurate colour matching across the whole run. In offset-printing there are two main ways. Newspapers and larger print runs are produced on a line called ‘Web Offset’, which are often custom built and exceptionally large in size. These print onto large rolls of paper which are continuously fed through the press. Set-up on these lines is very expensive, and often prohibitively so for the size of print-run we tend to deal with. Also, the quality of the paper stocks in not as high as in a sheet-fed press.

Offset is such a versatile print method that it is used in almost all commercial environments, from book printing to food packaging. When considering the development of the past few years it is clear that this type of printing has made a massive contribution to the simplification and speeding up of printing. It would be unthinkable to print newspapers, brochures or flyers produced in large print runs without offset printing.