Offset Printing

Offset Printing

When you have a large-volume printing project that requires superior image quality and accurate color, the best option is offset printing. You can’t beat the consistency, cost and speed that offset printing is known for.

What is Offset Printing?

Offset printing is a technique that involves the transferring of an image from a metal plate to a rubber blanket or roller before being printed on the type of media involved, usually paper. The offset printing department at Ultra Graphics consists of Heidelberg presses with direct-to-metal pre-press/platemaking technology – including two small presses for one to three-color jobs and a full four-color press for larger volume projects. The offset presses also allow for a variety of varnishes to protect or enhance your printed piece.

Advantages of Offset Printing

How do you know when to use offset or digital? Our experienced sales staff is always willing to work with you and help you make that choice, but here’s a few things to consider:

  • Large quantity projects can be printed cost effectively
  • Consistently produces high image quality with accurate color
  • If you need to match spot or PMS colors, offset printing will give you the best match
  • Specialty inks including metallic colors
  • Spot and flood varnishes available in several finishes
  • Once the setup is done, nothing can compare to the speed and consistency that a press can provide

The Process

In order to get the best results from offset printing, the most important part of the process starts with quality artwork. Having correctly prepared files will save you time and money in the long run. Files must be set up in CMYK (never in RGB) or in the spot color(s) you are printing in. Not sure how to accomplish this? Our pre-press team is happy to assist in setting up a file to ensure your project is ready for the press, but keep in mind this could add additional cost or push back your printing deadline.

Because the artwork is separated into the colors that make up the image (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black), four plates are needed for a full-color job. If your project is in a spot color or colors, a plate is required for each color.

Due to the setup process for offset printing jobs, proofs are not used to critically match color, but rather to proof text, layout, size and imposition. Ultra Graphics is committed to producing results for our customers, so if you would like to proof color, we’re happy to schedule a press check as the job is ready to print off the press.

Specialty Inks and Finishes

You can enhance your offset printing projects by using metallic inks or a varnish. Metallic inks offer a unique silver, gold or bronze sheen and can really help your project stand out. Varnishes are basically clear ink that come in matte or glossy finishes. You can use a flood varnish that covers the entire printed page for added shine or protection or a spot varnish to enhance only a certain area, such as a logo or graphic.

Common Offset Projects:

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