Unless you work in printing or have had to print in very large volumes before, you’ve likely never heard of offset printing.
We all know the office laser printer or the home inkjet (that gives us endless trouble), but offset printing is more specialised.
That said, we’re all familiar with material printed in the offset method. Chances are, the last magazine or newspaper you read was produced with offset printing. And for good reason: offset printing remains the best method for producing high volumes of quality printed materials at low cost.
Offset printing for your next project
If you’re not in publishing, and you’re not about to launch a hot new magazine, you might think you can just carry on relying on your trust laser printer.
However, anytime that you need to print in large volumes, offset printing is likely to be a preferred method, particularly if quality and price and priorities.
Common applications include printing flyers, catalogues, packaging and just about any other high-volume printed material made in large volumes.
That means that if your business is a retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer, there’s a good chance you’ll rely on offset printing at some point, rither to package your products or to promote your goods.
How does offset printing work?
Modern offset printing is obviously a lot more sophisticated than the early 20th century methods, but the fundamental principle remains the same: ink from image-carrying plates (in the modern system, a plate carrying in each colour in the CMYK colour model is used) is transferred (‘offset’) to a rubber ‘blanket’. The inked image on the blanket is then transferred to individual sheets of paper, to produce the final printed image.
Given that the cost of setting up the print will be the same regardless of print volume – and that setting up the print is the biggest single cost of offset printing – it follows that the larger the print volume, the more cost effective offset printing becomes.
It would obviously make little commercial sense to create plates for a specific print job and then produce a small batch of printed materials.
The perfect paper for your offset project
Of course, you don’t really need to know the mechanics of the printing process, you just need to find a printer that will deliver good results at a reasonable price.
However, a basic understanding of the printing process involved will ensure you select the correct materials for your printing project. For example, not all paper products produce equally good results under different printing conditions. For the best results, you’ll need paper that is optimised for offset printing and also meet all your other functional and aesthetic requirements.
The array of options can be dizzyingly complicated, but fortunately you don’t have to rely on guesswork.
Chat to a Peter Papers expert consultant for guidance on the perfect paper and printing method to realise your objectives. We have an unmatched range of paper products and the experience to help you find the ideal paper for your next project, whatever printing method you choose.