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Offset Printing. Is it facing becoming Obsolete

In printing industry specifically, we all know that offset printing is still extensively used when it comes to large quantities of printing. It is a printing technique where the inked image is transferred from a plate first to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface.

There are many kinds of offset printing that can be used to obtain the best results, these are: * the printing that dries quickly the ink * the printing permitting to stamp on low absorption materials like metal and plastic * the offset printing that doesn't use water to print so that colours will be more brilliant

When offset printing combine with the modern lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat image also known as planographic carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a film of water, keeping the nonprinting areas ink-free. Offset printing has made today's printing easily and impressive, with only the coming out of digital technology as the only threat to its long reign.

Despite of the facts that digital printing is faster than offset printing because it can print directly from computer and it is possible to print documents, like catalogs and brochures, with variable data. However, the quality of digital and offset printing is the same. Offset printing is not indicated to print low runs because of the elevated costs; in this case is recommended the digital printing.

Yes many of us even I myself admit that digital printing has more advancement than offset printing. But we cannot deny the fact that offset printing has also its advantages, these includes; * Consistent high image quality -- sharper and cleaner than letterpress printing because the rubber blanket conforms to the texture of the printing surface * Usability on a wide range of printing surfaces in addition to smooth paper (e.g., wood, cloth, metal, leather, rough paper) * Quick and easy production of printing plates * Longer plate life than on direct litho presses -- because there is no direct contact between the plate and the printing surface.

With these benefits offset printing is by far one of the most leading forms of commercial printing due to its quality in respect of volume and paper costs.

Offset printing is still the most common kind of commercial printing that can perhaps satisfy you with its high quality print outs, which is truly significant especially for books with photographs or fine art. In addition, offset printing also offers the lowest cost per copy. Aside from press setup is a time-consuming and expensive process, offset is still economical for both large and small quantities of printing projects.

The Different types of printing

Printing is a process of transferring an image or a text on a specific substrate. There are different types of printing technologies in use these days. The most important types are Rotogravure printing, Digital Inkjet printing, Off-set printing and Screen printing.

Offset Lithography or 'Litho' - This is the most common form of printing and it is used for most applications of printing onto paper. It is quick, accurate and economical and can be used for printing both spot and process color jobs.

In Rotogravure printing -The image is engraved on a rotogravure cylinder the rotogravure cylinder then picks up the ink from an ink tray, which is then transferred on the substrate under pressure being exerted by an impression roller.

Digital Inkjet printing -This is a lot like your inkjet printer at home but on a lot larger scale, printing onto vinyl and using lightfast inks. This method is used for signage and vehicle wraps, and other large format printing like low quantity posters and exhibition stands.

Screen Printing - This is quite a specialist form of printing, and we apply it to printing onto fabrics and garments for a durable, high quality result. Another option is inkjet onto heat transfer, but we favour screen printing as a higher quality production method.

Movable type - This is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document (usually individual letters or punctuation).

Flexography - is a form of printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate. It is basically an updated version of letterpress that can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper. It is widely used for printing on the non-porous substrates required for various types of food packaging (it is also well suited for printing large areas of solid color).

Pad printing - is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset (gravure) printing process that involves an image being transferred from the printing plate via a silicone pad onto a substrate.

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The History of Printing and Printing Processes

Timeline of Printing.
618 to 906: T’ang Dynasty - the first printing is done in China using ink on carved wooden blocks begins to make multiple transfers of an image to paper.
868: The Diamond Sutra is printed.
1241: Koreans print books using movable type.
1300: The first use of wooden type in China.
1309: Europeans first make paper. However, the Chinese and Egyptians had started making paper centuries previous.
1338: First papermill opened in France.
1390: First papermill opened in Germany.
1392: Foundries that can produce bronze type are opened in Korea.
1423: In Europe block printing is used to print books.
1452: In Europe, metal plates are first used in printing. Gutenberg begins printing the Bible which he finishes in 1456.
1457: First color printing by Fust and Schoeffer.
1465: Drypoint engravings invented by Germans.
1476: William Caxton begins using a Gutenberg printing press in England.
1477: Intaglio is first used for book illustration for a Flemish book called Il Monte Sancto di Dio.
1495: First papermill opened in England.
1501: Italic type first used.
1550: Wallpaper introduced in Europe.
1605: First weekly newspaper published in Antwerp.
1611: King James Bible published.
1660: Mezzotint invented in Germany.
1691: First papermill opened in the American colonies.
1702: Multi-colored engraving invented by German Jakob Le Blon. The first English language daily newspaper is published called the Daily Courant.
1725: In Scotland stereotyping invented by William Ged.
1800: Iron printing presses invented.
1819: Rotary printing press invented by Napier.
1829: Embossed printing invented by Louis Braille.
1841: Type-composing machine invented.
1844: Electrotyping invented.
1846: Cylinder press invented by Richard Hoe. Cylinder press can print 8,000 sheets an hour.
1863: Rotary web-fed letterpress invented by William Bullock.
1865: Web offset press can print on both sides of paper at once.
1886: Linotype composing machine invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler.
1870: Paper is now mass-manufactured from wood pulp.
1878: Photogravure printing invented by Karl Klic.
1890: Mimeograph machine introduced.
1891: Printing presses can now print and fold 90,000 4-page papers an hour. Diazotype invented (print photographs on fabric).
1892: 4-color rotary press invented.
1904: Offset lithography becomes common. The first comic book is published.
1907: Commercial silk screening invented.
1947: Phototypesetting made practical