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Offset litho

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Offset litho is a technical term referring to the commercial printing process using plates and a press.

The traditional process is as follows:

  1. The layout as camera-ready artwork is photographed by a litho camera, and the films developed
  2. The films are transferred to printer's plates
  3. The plates are mounted on the press, and the paper, known as stock, is fed through, either as cut sheets or as a roll, and each sheet printed using wet ink.
  4. The process is repeated for each additional colour
  5. The sheets are cut and allowed to dry
  6. The sheets are finished, which includes cutting to size, and any binding, stitching or folding required
  7. The print is packaged up and despatched.

More recently, the process is varied because

  • Most artwork is now supplied on computer, from which films can be made without photographing
  • Most presses now include several sub-presses, typically for printing Cyan, Magenta, Black and Yellow in one run

For many jobs, Offset litho is being replaced with Digital presses, where the files are taken straight from computer to press without the need to make plates.

  • This page was last modified on 28 December 2008, at 14:22.
  • This page has been accessed 2,838 times.