Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a water-based film (called “fountain solution”), keeping the non-printing areas ink-free. The modern “web” process feeds a large reel of paper through a large press machine in several parts, typically for several metres, which then prints continuously as the paper is fed through.
Development of the offset press came in two versions: in 1875 by Robert Barclay of England for printing on tin, and in 1904 by Ira Washington Rubel of the United States for printing on paper.
- Consistent high picture quality. Offset printing produces sharp and clean pictures and sort more effortlessly than, for instance, letterpress printing; this is on the grounds that the elastic cover fits in with the surface of the printing surface.
- Snappy and simple generation of printing plates.
- Stainless Steel dampening rollers.
- Longer printing plate life than on coordinate litho presses in light of the fact that there is no immediate contact between the plate and the printing surface. Appropriately created plates utilized with streamlined inks and fountain solution may accomplish run lengths of more than a million impressions.
- Cost. Offset printing is the cheapest method for producing high quality prints in commercial printing quantities.
- High quality powder coated safety guards.