Precision Graphics has provided the Greater San Francisco Bay Area with high quality offset printing. As we advance into the 21st century, we always stay up to date with the latest technology, software and trade techniques. Digital images along with hi-tech application software have taken printing into a whole new level. With our experience and technique, our goal is to enhance your final product beyond expectations. We pride ourselves on our dependability, high quality printing as well as excellent customer service. Let Precision Graphics help you with your offset printing needs.
Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique where the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a water-based film (called “fountain solution”), keeping the non-printing areas ink-free. Development of the offset press came in two versions: in 1875 by Robert Barclay of England for printing on tin, and in 1903 by Ira Washington Rubel of the United States for printing on paper.
Offset printing works because water and the inks used in the printing process do not mix. The images to be printed are created on the computer and then “burned” onto metal plates using a chemical developing process similar to photography. The metal plates are dampened with water which adheres to the areas without images. The ink is added next, one color at a time, where it sticks to the areas with images.
The most modern systems use a direct-to-plate system in which the images are burned directly to the metal plates; the omission of a secondary step saves time and money. The colors used in offset printing are usually Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, represented with the letter K (CMYK).
Note that K is used to represent black to ensure that there isn’t any confusion with blue. Different percentages of each of these four colors create virtually every color used in offset printing.
There are color matching systems, such as the PANTONE® system, that allows print buyers to see the color. The code for that color can be entered into the offset printer’s computer and it will calculate the percentages of each color to be used.