Waveline Direct will try to use this blog to educate our clients and potential new clients on the Offset Printing process. Here we go... BLOG #1!!!
Definition of Offset Printing:
A printing technique whereby ink is spread on a metal plate with etched images, then transferred to an intermediary surface such as a rubber blanket, and finally applied to paper by pressing the paper against the intermediary surface. Most print shops use offset printing to produce large volumes of high-quality documents. Although the equipment and set-up costs are relatively high, the actual printing process is relatively inexpensive.
Desktop publishing generally involves producing documents on the computer, printing out drafts on a laser printer, and then offset printing the final version.
Direct to plate printing eliminates the use of film in printing. Traditional methods of printing, called offset lithography printing, produced film on an imagesetter and used it to make a metal printing plate. The plate then went on a printing press to make the printed impressions. With direct to plate printing, the printing plate is produced directly from a computer, eliminating the need for film.
This type of printing is very popular due to its cost-effectiveness. Production of film costs a great deal of time and money, and printing directly has cut out the middleman in order to save on both. Direct to plate printing is also environmentally friendly and has a higher productivity rate.
Without the use of film in the printmaking process, the technology has had to evolve and expand to maintain the quality of the prints. Some print manufacturers have brought out their own development techniques to make sure there is no loss of quality with the elimination of film. Kodak has developed the Direct Thermal Printing Plate, which uses thermal imaging techniques as opposed to the silver halide or photopolymer technologies used by others.
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