PRINT FAQ – What is Offset Printing?

I’ve heard the term offset printing, but I’m not sure exactly what that means, or why it is important. Can you help?


The most important thing to know about offset printing is that it is most appropriate for larger runs of printed material, (e.g., quantities of 500 and up, per design). Far from being extinct, over 90% of printed material worldwide is printed offset. However, the process of printing offset is involved and time-consuming, thus most of the cost is in the set-up. If you are doing smaller quantities (e.g., under 500 per design), usually digital printing is more economical.



“Offset” in printing terms refers to the process of printing by creating plates and then having the plates offset to the rubber blanket, which then applies the ink to the paper. Plates are typically metal or polyester, though they can be made of paper or plastic. At our print shop, after we have a signed off proof, a DPM (digital plate maker) is used to create a plate for each color used in the printing. For instance, if it is a business card with two colors on the front and one on the back, we would have to make three plates to run the job correctly. We would also refer to this as being “three passes” through the machine—because that is how many times the paper must go through to imprint all the colors correctly.

There are also four-color presses, which use the CMYK process (e.g. one plate each for cyan, magenta, yellow and black separation) to print in one pass. With every trip through the machine there is more chance for error if everything doesn’t line up.

What interests you most about printing? Would you like more information on offset printing, or another print topic? Was this blog helpful to you, or could I be more clear in my explanations? Let me know in the comments.



Print Problem Solved – Custom Post-it® Notes

Want to make sure an idea really sticks?

 Custom Post-it® Notes

We can produce custom printed Post-it® Notes for your business!

Sizes available:

  • 3″ x 3″
  • 3″ x 4″
  • 4″ x 6″

Paper is 20# matte stock, full color flat ink printing available, 50 sheets per pad. For the two larger sizes, adhesive orientation can be landscape or portrait (please specify when ordering).

Quality customization from two names that you can trust– Post-it® and Minuteman Press!

In this example of a custom 3″ x 4″ piece, it is used by a medical office to place notes on a patient’s chart. Some other great uses for this item would be as a give-away to your clients and vendors, or for internal use by employees in your company. Take your branding to the next level with your logo as a watermark in the background. What are some other ideas for custom Post-it® Notes that you can think of?

Restaurants Can Utilize Full-Color Splashes with the Economy of Black & White Imprinting

Would you like to utilize some full color splashes on your menus but be able to update them frequently and inexpensively? Printing blank master feature sheets could be your answer!

When our customer came to us they had the feature sheets printed on an uncoated card stock. For subsequent printings of the feature sheet masters we recommended the customer switching to a matte-coated card stock. They now go though about half as few feature sheets each week because the matte finish can be wiped with a wet cloth and still look new.

If you are interested in keeping your menus fresh and current without breaking the bank, contact us today. We would love to assist your business in staying profitable while remaining

blank feature sheets

Blank dinner feature sheet (8.5″ x 14″, left) and blank lunch feature sheet (8.5″ x 11″, right) with full-color header and footer.


lunch dinner menus

Imprinted dinner and lunch feature sheets. Allows for full-color impact while still providing cost-effective black & white copying.

lunch and dinner feature sheets and blank masters

If you look closely at the menus, you can even see that they are exactly the same imprint except for the featured beverage at the very bottom of the menus.

Posters Deliver Visual Impact

Have an upcoming event or promotion coming up – maybe a school play, a fundraiser or a community event? Posters are a fun, affordable way to promote them.

We can do four-color, one-sided posters up to 12 x 18” for any event! Just send us your design and text, and we’ll print them out by your deadline. Questions? Need help with the layout? No problem. Minuteman Press of Kent can help with that too. We’ll even provide free local delivery!

Call us today to see how we can help you promote your next activity or event! 253-852-6020.

We’re more than a printer – we’re a business partner!

Minuteman Press of Kent is more than just a printer. We are a business partner who cares about your business. Sure, we want to help with your printing needs, but it isn’t “all about us.” We care that the pieces we print for you are high quality but are also affordable and meet your needs. Please keep that in mind when you have questions about your next print job, or are uncertain about how many colors to use, what type of paper stock to print on, and whether you need a “bleed” in your design. Each of these options impacts the price, so call us at 253-852-6020 – we’ll give you our opinion and offer options so you can decide what works best for you!

Overlooked Marketing Tool: Postcards

Postcards used to be a popular direct mail tool. While the email world may compete for your attention, postcards are still a great marketing tool and they are more affordable than you’d think. With a little imagination, you can use postcards for a variety of purposes. Use postcards:

•    As handouts at a trade show or event
•    To announce an upcoming promotion, sale or open house
•    For thanking customers for their business
•    To notify a customer that their special order has arrived

Stay tuned for more postcard marketing tips from Minuteman Press of Kent!