What is Offset Printing?
Bestype’s offset printing isn’t only for high-volume publishing and art connoisseurs. We offer guidance and support to make offset technology affordable and available to everyone who wants to access this extremely efficient and effective method. Offset prints better and prints on more materials than can fit in a digital printer.
Most people are only familiar with digital printing. Asking the question, “what is offset printing?” is always helpful. Offset printing has much in common with traditional lithography and the mechanical printing presses of previous centuries, except offset uses 21st century technology to power the presses. Instead of transferring images and text from ink heads directly onto paper, offset uses an indirect method to move your ideas to paper, fabrics, vinyl, and more.
In offset printing, technicians transfer images, text, and layout to metal plates, which roll onto rubber, which rolls onto large sheets of many kinds of material moving through the press. Offset printing takes longer to set up compared to digital printing. Still, this method’s advantages are compelling to anyone who needs to print over 1000 copies of documents or over 500 items of letterhead stationery and envelopes. We’ll examine each of these offset printing advantages, and you’ll be able to determine if this is a suitable method for the project you’re envisioning:
- Printing is fast using mechanical sheet rollers and cutters
- Pantone color matching is better than CMYK simulation
- Ability to print on heavier and thicker materials
In addition to projects using the typical substrates of paper and card stock, offset printing can be applied to many different kinds of material. Wood and laminate board, metallics, plastics and vinyl, and many other materials are good candidates to use in offset printing projects. Bestype’s clients often request offset printing to produce:
- Documents for finance and legal fields
- Graphic design prints
- Label printing
- Lookbooks and catalogs
- Hardbound and softbound books
- Retail bags, boxes, wrapping, tags
- Restaurant and catering menus
- Promotional giveaways
- Retail and real estate signs
- Magazines, booklets, and brochures
- Letterhead and stationary
- Invitations and envelopes
- Business cards
Why Choose Offset Printing: Practical, Mechanical Advantages
When deciding if offset printing is the best choice for your project, keep in mind what you want to achieve, what materials you want to print on, and how many pages you want to print.
Volume – Offset printing runs through copies like a knife runs through butter, but you must forge the blade first. Bestype’s technicians first take high-resolution photographs of your layout, text, and images. We transfer these images to plates, which are transferred onto the rollers, which transfer the images to your material. Because each plate is individually cast, this part of the offset printing process involves an investment of time.
However, once we create all of the plates and ensure that the images are perfect (no typos!), offset printing moves faster than our digital printers. When you need hundreds of identical copies or thousands of sheets, offset printing is the technology that professional publishers use for this very reason.
Substrate – Selecting digital printing materials can be tricky. Many popular thicknesses of card stock don’t play well with digital printers. Digital printing also does not work with many non-paper projects. Even the paper you select may be suspect and not work well with digital ink.
Bestype’s printing technicians will guide you toward the best choices to achieve your best results, and offset printing may be the best choice for your project.
When to Use Offset Printing: the Artistic Edge
When you need consistently true colors, blacks, and whites in your finished product, offset printing is your best methodology. Suppose the quality of your images and typography are what set your project apart. In that case, there are distinct advantages to using offset printing — even if your project involves producing fewer copies.
Digital printing relies on CYMK color matching — cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (or black). Printers transfer multiple ink dots in these colors to simulate the colors you want to see in your digitally prepared file. CYMK comes exceptionally close to replicating colors. It’s more than adequate for reproducing color art and photographs for most printing purposes.
However, when your documents contain large swatches of a single color or set of colors, designers recommend offset printing.
This recommendation is also the case when you’ve selected standard Pantone colors for your project and need your output to match exactly. The Pantone Matching System (PMS) guarantees colors print as you expect them to. PMS preserves the depth and color of your original graphic images throughout the offset printing process. Colors are richer, black and sepia text is crisper, white space is cleaner than with digital printing.
Commercial designers prefer offset printing because of this design reproduction advantage.
What Colors Can You Print Using the Offset Printing Method?
Offset printing replicates almost every color that the human eye is capable of seeing. Pantone currently lists 1,867 colors in its catalog and continuously expands its list as printing technology evolves.
Pantone builds its color palette by blending three or four-digit numbers representing colors in their catalog. An additional letter indicates the type of finish or sheen the color produces, C for “coated,” U for “uncoated,” and M for “matte.”
Bestype’s technicians custom blend colors using this system to match any color in your project. We work with you to correct any stray color issues we find. We carefully consider typical inconsistencies between how colors appear in your original work versus how they appear on digital monitors and in various types of lighting.
Our Offset Printing NYC Process
When you first contact Bestype with your project idea, our technicians will offer a complimentary consultation. We will help you decide if offset printing offers benefits you may not have already considered. Your free session will answer all of the questions that guide your printing experience with us. Our consultant will also help you avoid problem areas and pitfalls you may encounter when creating your design. We want your offset imaging plate to be perfect.
During your consultation, you can also choose a wide variety of finishes available for your design. Our technician will direct you through a list of options, and you can choose nearly any idea that you think will make your printed project stand out. Some ideas don’t work with the materials and other customizations, and our experts will help you make the best choices to achieve optimal results in your finished project.
When we receive your design file, Bestype’s technicians will run it through our prepress services for color correction. We’ll take care of a bit of image refinement before committing the images to plates. Printers will produce a proof image for you to review for problems and errors — if we find mistakes, we can fix them. If you are printing a large document, typography and image repair may affect an entire section of your layout. However, we will work quickly to cast new plates and reprint a sample proof for you.
When you’re satisfied with your sample, we print! Printing your items, machine-drying inks, and separating items in the cutter goes quickly. Printers then apply any finishes you’ve selected to your final products.
Why Choose Bestype for Offset Printing?
Bestype is the offset printing NYC resource for anyone who needs fast, reliable, personable document reproduction and item fabrication.
Every New York Store Has a Story
With over 40 years of experience in our SOHO Manhattan location, we don’t just produce offset printing projects; we understand them in depth.
We began as one of New York’s pre-press service bureaus, reflected in our commitment to perfect printing. Our technicians check and double-check your project before we run it through our offset press machines.
Everyone Prints With Bestype
Bestype is an offset printing support resource for all of New York City’s creative community. Our SOHO print shop is located close to service bureau shops, graphic design studios, and many businesses involved with the fashion industry, interior design, and marketing. This central location makes it easy to partner with them for anything they need, whenever they need it.
Excellence in Customer Service for Everyone
We take care of you and your projects by making printing as simple as it can be. We take the technically complex and make it easy. If you’re a professional creative client who understands the inner workings of Adobe CC and other design platforms, we’re here for you. If you would like us to design your documents, banners and signs, letterhead, notecards, and envelopes for you, we can do that too! Are you hoping to get an in-person answer to the question, what is offset printing? We are more than happy to show you how offset printing NYC works and give you a tour of our production facility.
Beginning with your first creative project consultation, you are always welcome to visit our conveniently located print shop during our business hours. We are always happy to show you samples that will inform and may inspire your next project. We will support you in every way while we are printing your items. Our technicians will share where we are on our project timeline and when your items will be available for sample review or finalized for pickup and delivery.
One-Stop-Shopping For Every Printing Need
Everything you bring to us to print and produce is completed in-house, with no outsourcing of parts or smaller projects. We carry a complete line of materials for your offset printing project and keep a close watch on inventory levels. Our supplies include:
- Paper and cardstock
- Vinyl for banners and wraps
- Any other material our customers use for offset production
If we can use it in offset printing, we have it in stock for your project.
Contact us With Your Offset Printing Requirements Today
By bringing your project to Bestype, you are well on your way to printing and producing whatever it is you’re imagining. Your project may be already set up in your favorite DTP application, or it may only be beginning to peek through your subconscious. Our technicians are ready to help guide your project through all the steps of offset printing. We know you’ll be pleased with the quality of every offset printing project we produce for you. Contact us today, and let us show you how offset printing will change your ideas about how good your prints can look.