The hot topic today in the printing world has to do with offset printing technology. Is it dead? Can it offer more substantial benefits than other methods in order to guarantee its survival? There are many arguments about this topic.
On one hand, the printing market is decreasing; customers demand shorter run lengths and digital printing solutions seem to be replacing offset printing. Is this right?
The offset technology has been the standard in the printing world since 1903. It is a traditional solution perfect for customers looking for high volume printings, cost effective methods, flexibility and the most important thing: top quality results. A really impressive degree of details and clarity is one of the most major benefits of offset. The secret is behind its technology.
This method uses plates that transfer the image onto a rubber blanket first and then they roll the image onto a sheet of paper. It doesn’t transfer the ink directly onto the paper, so it is a great solution for large quantities of copies, providing amazing colored reproduction as well as a clean and professional final touch. During the offset process the ink only comes into contact with those areas that need to be printed. The other areas are covered with a thin film of water in order to repel any unwanted ink. So the final result is a very clean printing.
The more copies customers need, the more cost-effective the service is. On the other hand, clients have a large variety of paper types with different custom finishes to select, also having access to special custom inks and colors.
Those are the reasons why offset is still the most popular technology when it comes to quality and volume. It was designed to offer customers a great method to print high volumes. Offset printing was never designed for short run lengths, variable formats or variable print changes. So, the part of the market that digital printing seems to be taken from offset is just the part that offset has never planned to control.
According to experts, offset technology is meant to be the most efficient and cost effective printing solution in the near future. So, it seems like this solution is not even close to be replaced. New technologies also offer great advantages in their particular markets, but they will have to find a way to coexist with offset instead of looking for a way to substitute it.