5 Frequently Asked Questions About Offset Printing

Mon Aug , 2020

Offset printing has been around to produce printed materials for organizations and businesses for over a century. The graphic content and images it creates can be rich and vivid, in a wide assortment of hues and tones. 

Understandably, business owners often want to evaluate the entire process and understand whether the image quality and overall cost is worth it.  To make the best use of offset printing service, you need to learn about its benefits and its affordability. After all, you want to ensure that it’s the right decision for your business.

Offset Printing Services: FAQ


Business owners use offset printing to print ads and other promotional materials. Curious about how the process works? Here, we answer some frequently asked questions. 

  1. What is an offset printing service?

Offset presses use a process to finish printed material. The entire procedure works following the basic principle that water and ink don’t mix, so the ink only sticks to areas that are yet to be printed. Generally, the images and text are set on printing plates using varying methods. Water is typically added to areas that need to be left blank to prevent anything from being printed there. 

Offset printing doesn’t make use of traditional printing methods where ink is applied on a plate placed directly to paper. Instead, ink is offset onto a rubber mat or blanket before being applied to the paper directly from the mat instead of a plate. 

  1. Is it an obsolete form of technology?

Offset printing has been around for many years and continues to be viable, with more than 90% of the world’s printed material produced using this method. Modern-day offset printers are much more efficient than those from the past, although the basic principles remain unchanged. 

  1. What kind of image quality does offset printing provide?

Unlike other printing methods, offset printing creates crisp and clear images that don’t blur or fade through the printing process. It is this quality and consistency of image that is behind its continued popularity in business.

  1. Why is it referred to as 4-colour printing?

Commercial inkjet desktop printers and offset printing presses both use four basic colours of ink: cyan, magenta, yellow and black, or CMYK. 

Whereas inkjet printers apply the different inks together as it passes through the printer, offset printing applies each colour individually; a single colour per plate. Tiny dots of the coloured ink are applied in specific patterns that make people think they are seeing a vast range of colours. This is the main reason why offset printing is also referred to as 4-colour printing or 4-colour lithography. 

The process can also use premixed inks in specific colours, including fluorescent and metallic. These ‘spot colours’ allows printers to achieve hues outside the normal range of colours available in other printing processes. 

  1. Why choose offset printing over other methods?

Offset printing offers numerous advantages over other printing methods. They include: 

  • High-Quality 

Offset printing creates quality images each time they are printed. Since ink flow can be controlled by the printer operator, there are fewer wasted prints than other methods. (The ones that don’t work likely don’t offer enough contrast within the printed material.) The result is clean and sharp images on each piece. 

  • Fast

Although creating the special metal plates and setting the equipment for offset printing might require extra effort, it’s worth the investment of time when considering the speed. 

The method is suitable for large volume jobs as it can print material much faster than others. This is because standard printers can run out of ink during the printing cycle. But offset printing ensures consistency throughout the printing process as the operator controls the ink flow. This creates large quantities of printed material in a short span of time, without having to check for ink or image quality. 

  • Affordable

Offset printing is cheaper than other methods and offers better quality than most. The best part is that the more material you need, the cheaper each piece will be. 

  • Versatile

One of the greatest advantages of offset printing is its ability to print over different kinds of surfaces. You can print on wood, plastic, fabric, leather, vinyl, metal and different types of paper. This allows you to create a unique project where you aren’t limited by your choice of materials. 

Offset printing is used by many businesses, and as such, we understand that consumers might wonder how it works. Hopefully, we have provided you with a clearer picture, allowing you to make an informed decision. Have more questions? Get in touch with an experienced printing company that has the answers.