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Offset Printing – What is it?
Offset Printing – What is it?
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  • Offset Printing .

Printing is truly the backbone of our company and today, we shall go deep into understanding what goes on with offset printing specifically.

Offset printing has taken over today as the most commonly used method, and has many advantages over other forms of printing, leaving them in the rearview mirror especially when it gets to high and consistent image quality.

How does Offset Printing Work?

Water and ink is applied to the plate. Because of the chemical treatment, ink only “sticks” to the image areas, which reject the water. Areas without images reject the ink.

It is based on the principle that water and oil are immiscible – so that a greasy ink can be deposited on grease-treated printing areas of the plate, while nonprinting areas, which hold water, reject the ink.

CMYK Color Codes

Some of the terms associated with this type of printing are:

  • Aqueous coating – water-based coating that protects and intensifies the impression.
  • Impression (Printing) cylinder – cylinder that presses the cardboard on the Blanket cylinder, and ensures the transfer of colors on the printed surface of the cardboard. Its rotation is the opposite direction of rotation of the blanket cylinder, so the two cylinders ensure the transport of cardboard between them and printing.
  • Color Management System (CMS) – computer software package, created for the coordination of scanners, monitors, printers and printing machines, all with the aim of ensuring uniformity throughout the entire manufacturing process of printing.
  • Chromo Paper – paper with wood pulp or rag paper coated on one side with a water-resistant coating.
  • Fountain solution – A mixture of water and chemicals that are used for wetting offset printing plates and prevent the acceptance of color in the field without the ink.
  • Ink volume – ink applied to the printing surface of the substrate. The amount of ink is very important for achieving the desired impression and depends on the raster.
  • Raster – series of parallel lines, which defines the number of lines per vertical (unit: centimeter), the slope of the lines by generating roller (unit: degree angle). Raster graphics are images digitally created as a set of samples of a given space. A raster is a grid of X and Y coordinates on a display space. A raster image file gives information about which of these coordinates to illuminate in monochrome or color values.
  • Duplex board – multilayered paperboard with the gray intermediate layer, and gray back wood free coated on one side.
  • UV inks – After the drop of UV ink is transported to the surface that is printed the UV light causes the polymerization of colors, making the ink hardens. Color contains special chemicals, photoinitiators, which accelerate the polymerization, which is why the ink is dry as soon as exposed to UV light.


Written for Offset Printing, Modified for Wave Media.


Listen to Wave Media’s Priscilla, when she met with Ntende Kenneth of MonkeyPesa marketing