Color images need to be separated into primary colors in order to be printed. The primary ink colors create four color processes, consisting of cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). Printing presses can only print solid color in the image area while no ink prints in the non-image areas. To achieve the required result, the image is converted into a pattern of very small and clearly defined dots. This process is called screening. The printed result is an optical illusion, relying on the eye to mix the dots of the four colors.
Offset Printing operates on a simple principle: ink and water don’t mix. Image formations (art and text) are put on thin metal plates which are dampened by water and ink rollers on the press. The ink adheres to the image area and the water to the non-image area. The inked area is then transferred to a rubber “blanket” and then onto the paper as it passes around the blanket. This process is called offset since the image doesn’t go directly from the plates to the paper.
Offset commercial printing presses use CMYK, whereas inkjet printing puts all the different colors on the paper in one pass through the printer. In offset printing, each color of ink is applied separately; one plate per color. If you're not sure if offset printing or another one of our printing services is the one to choose, give us a call today!
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