Why Offset Printing Still Works

October 22, 2018


Offset or lithographic printing has had a huge impact on American culture. Since it was invented over a century ago, it’s been responsible for printing just about every major newspaper story that has shook our nation, it’s been used to publish some of the most influential magazines of our time and it’s the main means of printing many advertising campaigns that have changed our perceptions of countless brands.

Today, the traditional printing technique is often being replaced by digital printing, which can be faster and more affordable. But even with the benefits of digital printing, offset printing will always have a place in modern-day culture. It provides a level customizability, accuracy and quality that digital printing cannot currently provide.

The industry-leading offset printer

When it comes to offset printing presses, the Heidelberg Press is the cream of the crop. No other offset printer produces high-quality prints with such speed and efficiency. At family-owned print shop Mollet, their Heidelberg Press is as impressive as they come. Located at the heart of their warehouse, the Heidelberg is at the center of many of the creative printing projects they deliver to world-class clients like Nike, Adidas, Platt Electric and plenty of other notable companies.

You can’t miss their Heidelberg press either. The printing machine is raised on a metal stage and takes up the space of a locomotive. On one side, a small set of stairs leads you up a platform and onto the machine’s main control center. As you continue along the platform, you’ll pass six large columns responsible for applying process and/or spot color inks and various coatings to the press sheets. Massive in size and sleek in design, it’s an undeniably attractive piece of machinery.

Watching the Heidelberg in action is impressive, too. Tall stacks of paper are fed sheet by sheet in one end and quickly pass through the press, where metal plates and ink are used to recreate an image. The prints are then stackeded at the other end of the machine. As each one exits the efficient machine, it reveals vibrant colors, high contrast and unmatched definition.


Weighing the benefits of offset printing

Offset printing has been the industry standard for the greater part of the past century, but that is changing. Digital printing offers a level of convenience that can’t be matched by offset printers. To help you decide which type of printer is right for you, we’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages of offset printing.

Advantages of offset printing:

  • More affordable for large jobs – When printing orders of 1,000 or more, offset printers are more affordable. After setup, they work faster than digital printers, have a lower cost per print and their only true variable is the price of the paper stock used.
  • More creative freedom – Offset printers are fully customizable, giving you much more freedom to bring your vision to life than digital printers. 
  • Color accuracy – Offset printers can be customized to use a wide variety of inks, including Pantone colors, which are used in many brand’s color palettes.
  • Image quality – Offset printing helps ensure consistent quality across every project and offers design options that can make all the difference.

Disadvantages of offset printing:

  • Can be costly  Additional costs in job preparation are accrued in proof
    and plate output. Set up costs at the press are also included in price quotes. 
  • Slower turnaround time  More time is needed to prepare jobs for offset printing. On the other hand, digital printers require very little setup time which can make it a faster option. 
  • Limited flexibility – Since offset printers require metal plates, they make it difficult and costly to make changes after proof approval to your print design. But with digital printers, there is no material waste if you need changes done after proof approval. 


Mollet puts their Heidelberg to work

Mollet uses their Heidelberg press to create unique packaging, bold in-store displays and innovative printing solutions for global organizations like Nike and local nonprofits such as the “I Have A Dream” Foundation. Check out some recent projects they’ve had the opportunity to work on: 

  • Books and storage boxes 
  • Boxes and stationary 
  • Business cards
  • Brochures 
  • Newspapers


Start a relationship with Mollet

With a Heidelberg Press and top-of-the-line digital printers, Mollet has what it takes to help any business achieve their printing needs. But that’s not all—the full-service print shop also offers assistance with project management, inventory, delivery and more.