The Process Of Offset Printing

What Is Offset Printing

Applications Of Offset Printing

Types Of Offset Presses

Process Of Offset Printing


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Offset printing refers to the printing technique where ink is applied to a metal plate that is etched with images, then transferred to a rubber plate and finally imprinted on the substrate. That is just a small part of the entire offset printing process. The entire process involves the pre-press production, the actual press run and the bindery.

Creating The Artwork

The creative process can involve any number of people from graphic artists, cartoonists, copywriters, and creative directors to illustrators and editors. It is very important to proofread the entire artwork before sending for final printing. The artwork is generally sent in a digital format either on CD, floppy or via the Internet.

The Printing Process

Offset printing is something almost every commercial printer is involved in. However the quality of offset printing often depends on the experience of the printer and the equipment used. There are three main steps in the printing process.

  • Pre-press Production: Once the artwork has been approved it needs to be converted to film and plates for printing. The film negatives are created from the digital files. The images from the negatives are then transferred onto the printing plates much like developing photographs. Different materials from paper to aluminum are used to produce plates. Each of the four colors – C, M, Y and K has a separate plate.
  • The Press Run: Offset printing works on the principle that oil and water do not mix. The press run or offset printing process or offset press is made of the feeding system, the printing system or three cylinders, the inking system and the delivery system. There are different types of offset presses as well that are used for the press run. The press run starts with a blank substrate and ends with a printed substrate.
  • Bindery: The bindery is the stage when the printed substrate is given the final treatment before it is declared ready for use. If the substrate is in the form of a large roll, it is cut into required size sheets. It is glued, bound, stapled and collated before being shipped to the final destination.

Thus, the offset printing process involves a number of stages and the hard work of many professionals. It is no wonder that offset printing is a large industry in itself and the applications of offset printing are increasing day by day. 

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