What does the term "offset" mean?

Answered by Suzanne Morgan, founder, Print Buyers Online.com

I recenly read an article you wrote which referred to the word "offset." What does that mean?


Offset actually means two things in our industry. First, in the term "offset lithography," it refers to the type of printing that sheetfed and web printing fall into, whereby an intermediate blanket or cylinder is used to transfer an image from the image carrier to the substrate.

In the article, I was referring to the other meaning of the word, which is an undesirable transfer of wet ink from the top of one sheet to the underside of another as they lie in a stack to dry after the print run. Varnish and aqueous coatings almost always prevent offsetting from occurring.
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