Why Utilize Offset Printing?
Since 1991, The Print Authority has been an offset printing company providing comprehensive printing for organizations nationwide. Offset printing is the traditional method of printing, consisting of wet ink that is transferred from a plate to paper. The typical offset printing company uses oil-based or rubber-based ink. Here at The Print Authority, we use oil-based inks.
Offset printing is a cost-effective printing technique. A unique plate is made for every page in offset printing, so offset printing is the best idea when you print many copies of one or a few unique pages. When printing many copies of a small number of originals, offset printing frequently costs less than digital printing. As well, offset printing produces extremely high-quality images. Offset printing can include both black-and-white and color printing.
The Offset Printing Company You Can Rely On
When choosing an offset printing company, know that The Print Authority is a leader in the field. We offer:
- Multiple color processes. We offer both spot color printing and full-color process printing.
- Top-of-the-line technology. All of our printing plates are produced on our Heidelberg® Suprasetter metal plate system with 250 line hybrid screening for unequaled quality.
- Full-service graphic design including logo design, advertising design, creation and layout services, and digital file correction.
- An expert team. We have extremely experienced press operators on staff full-time. We’re happy to provide you with samples of offset printing jobs so that you can rest assured that you’re receiving the best printing from the best company.
- High-quality offset printing. Most importantly, our entire operation is designed with you and your organization in mind. Feel free to ask us about how to create the very best products that help your company succeed!
- Finishing services. These include folding, cutting, round cornering, drilling, stapling, booklet making, scoring, perforating, laminating, UV coating, shrink wrapping, and a variety of bookbinding options (coil, perfect, and GBC/comb). We also offer foil stamping, embossing, and other specialized processes on request.
- Nationwide fulfillment services. If you’re wondering where to find offset printers near me, let The Print Authority help! We ship a huge volume of printed material out every day to organizations across the country. We even create custom websites for your organization to order printing from remote locations with ease!
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Offset Printing FAQs
Offset printing is based on the idea that the image area to be printed should be transferred from a “plate” to a rubber blanket, and then to the sheet of paper. Offset printing is “wet” in that it uses a wet ink, usually either based on rubber or oil. At The Print Authority, we use oil based inks. If there are multiple ink colors, a different color is placed on each head of a press and they are transferred to the sheet of paper one color at a time. However, with modern multiple head presses, many ink colors can be transferred to the paper in one “pass” through the press.
Offset printing is the best choice for documents with only a few originals and many prints of each original, while digital printing is best for documents with many originals and few prints of each original. Another differentiating factor is that although digital technology has made huge advances, offset printing typically produces the highest quality images available. On the other hand, digital copying can be the best choice for very quick turnaround jobs as digital printing is a dry process. Both digital printing and offset printing are employed at The Print Authority.
For more details on how to decide which process to use, call The Print Authority, at (615) 468-2679!
Four color process printing refers to offset printing in which four set colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) are used to simulate most other colors. Four color process printing is also known as process color or full color printing. Although most colors can be simulated in four color process printing, one cannot be precise about the exact colors which will appear on a final printed piece. Four color process printing should be done on a press with at least four heads for the best quality results.
For spot color printing jobs, proofs can be either simple black and white proofs or simple color proofs. For remote clients, a PDF of the final arwork can serve as a proof and an email reply can serve as proof approval. For four color process printing jobs, we frequently use a similar process. For full color offset printing, there is no advance proof which will produce exactly the same colors as the final printed piece.
For color critical projects, you can do a press check. In a press check, the client sees the first sheet off of the press. Once approved, we print the remainder of the project. Usually press proofs take about 15 minutes. If press checks involve more than minor adjustments, there may be additional charges.
Before the onset of computer to plate (also called direct to plate, CTP or DTP), printing companies either generated negatives or paper (megalith) plates. These were generated photographically, by placing clean “camera-ready” copy on a graphics camera and shooting a “plate” or a negative. In the case of negatives, the negative and a metal plate were placed into a plate burner and the image was “burned” onto the plate. Then, the plates were developed chemically before use on the press. You can still find these systems in use, but they are being replaced.
Today, many printing companies, including The Print Authority, employ DTP systems in which the plates are generated digitally and come out ready to use on press. The Print Authority employs metal plates for all jobs, whether they are “spot” color jobs or process color projects. Metal plates are higher quality, do not stretch, and are best for fine detail, close registration or full-color printing.
The Print Authority uses a ‘Chemistry Free’ machine to produce metal plates. This machine produces no toxic chemicals requiring special processing. Further, we recycle 100% of our used metal plates.
One use of a screen is to simulate multi-color printing without using extra colors. Since screens lighten the solid color being printed, it is possible to achieve two different hues of the same color (for example, two blues) by printing the solid color and a screen of that color. Four color process printing combines screens of four colors to simulate other colors.
Halftones are printed representations of photographs. By using screens, it is possible to capture much of the detail contained in a photograph using either one or multiple colors.
Metal plates produce a higher quality screened image than polyester plates, as metal plates show more detail and will not stretch during printing. One can create a screened area to print with anything from 50 lpi to way over 200 lpi. The higher the lpi, the crisper and smoother the image area. At The Print Authority, we can reproduce screens up to 250 lpi.
Reverses only become technically challenging when the underlying solid area is large or when the reversed area contains extremely fine detail. These can be challenging because the press operator must run a lot of ink to create a smooth looking solid area, but cannot run so much ink that the reverse disappears.
Varnish is a simple clear coating which can be applied on press to seal in the ink colors. You cannot usually see varnish easily. Varnish can be either shiny or dull.
UV coating appears as a shiny clear coating which sits on top of the ink. You can feel UV coating as it is much heavier than varnish.
Aqueous coating is another coating which seals and protects.
Please call the experts at The Print Authority to find out whether a coating is a good idea for your next printing project!