Offset printing is an economical printing method in which the inked graphic image is transferred directly from a plate onto a hard plastic carrier material and then into the printing area. The hard plastic carrier material is called the substrate. In some cases, the substrate has a fine texture and in others it may be of a matte finish. When applied to the print surface, the offset method uses a solid substrate carrier.
The process is a cross combination of offset printing and lithography. In the case of offset printing, the print head is loaded with colored film. The carrier material is then passed through a carrier roller on which colored dye droplets are deposited. The roller moves with the ink droplets and transfers them to special printing areas on the printhead. The areas are designed to catch the light passing through the ink droplets and produce the image.
In the case of offset lithography, a thin, solid plate is mounted on a solid foundation and mounted on a stand in the middle of the printing area. Then a stencil is painted over the solid base and the image is manually projected onto the plate. This type of printing method produces high quality images that can be easily printed on a variety of materials. Unlike offset printing, lithography requires the use of a very expensive printing machine.
Because of its high volume commercial printing technology, lithography is most often used for mass marketing products such as greeting cards and promotional material. To create each card, several pieces of similar print material are run simultaneously onto a printhead and thus give rise to a large image. The cost of using this method is considerably less than offset printing. The high volume commercial printing technology enables printers to print thousands of cards at a time. As a result, it is ideal for mass production of any type of product.
Offset printer works by employing a set of offset printing machines to produce thousands of identical copies of a certain type of printable material. The method of offset printing means that the print heads are attached to rollers and not attached to a printer. The rolls of paper are fed through the roller to get to the copying machine. From there, the printer will copy the material directly onto paper. Because the printer is moving the material rather than carrying it around with the press, offset printing machines are generally more durable and reliable than their digital counterparts. Although they do not have a laser printer on hand, some offset presses still incorporate a computer-controlled ink feeder that allows you to transfer a print directly from an inkjet or thermal cartridge onto paper.
Because the printer is not actually moving the sheets, offset printing has a number of advantages. For one, it can save you money since the printer does not need to make numerous trips to the supply store as it would if it were using a digital press. The second advantage is that it can be more efficient because there is no need to physically transfer the sheets onto another cylinder or toner cartridge onto paper.