Business Card Printing
Offset Lithographic Printing
Offset lithography is the most commonly used commercial printing process today. In fact Extra Value's full color business cards employ the lithographic printing process. The offset lithography process works by first transferring an image photographically to a plate. Flat stones were the first lithographic plates and are still used today, although a variety of thin metal, plastic, and paper plates are now more common. Unlike other forms of printing, with offset lithography, the image on the printing plate is not raised. In fact, the term offset refers to the fact that the image isn't printed directly to the paper from the plates, but is offset, or transferred to another surface that then makes contact with card stock. Our lithographic commercial printing press features rollers that apply oil-based ink and water to plates. Since oil and water don't mix, the oil-based ink won't adhere to the non-image areas of your business card. Only the ink-covered areas of the image are transferred to a rubber blanket (cylinder), which in turn, transfers, or offsets the image onto the card stock as it passes between it and another cylinder (impression cylinder) beneath the cardstock. Whether a commercial printer produces business cards, postcards, greeting cards, or other, preparing a printing surface so that ink will adhere only to parts of it is standard for lithographic printing. Offset and other forms of planographic printing, through many technical refinements, make possible increased production speeds, improved quality in the reproduction of fine tones, and a substantial reduction in the number of impressions required to reproduce full-color business cards.