Working in a marketing department, I got a lot of pressure through my hands without knowing the printing process behind the ‘pure photos’ (or really cared); I just wanted sharp, vivid, stunning images within time and budget. However, a recent project gave me a real insight into the retrospective alignment with the press that makes the difference between a perfect and simply divine result. The printing company has recently invested in an UV Offset Printing Services, a next-generation printing technology that offers many advantages over older, traditional printing.
An LED UV printer uses light to immediately dry the ink so that it does not have time to sink into the substrate. This is a known problem with traditional printing methods, especially on undercoated paper, where the wet ink penetrates into the paper, “blooms” like an inkblot on tissue paper and loses part of its definition, while the LED UV drying process “immediately freezes the ink on the spot, making your image sharper on every print surface.
We wanted to create a new brochure that showed our customers this difference by incorporating a “before and after” effect to compare the same image printed on undercoated paper using both traditional and LED UV printing processes. I was able to personally follow my brochure through both presses and see the techniques in action. We first carried out the LED UV print and our pages were almost good to get off the press right away. Then we performed the traditional print, where even a bit of light handling left me with ink-black fingers.
“A basic text on a white background task is no problem,” explained Pete Harrison, the Press Whisperer, “but as soon as you start to determine a lot of color, especially blues, you have to let it dry completely for 48 hours. I often had to explain to customers that, although their job was printed on a Friday, it could only be sent on Monday if it was dry enough to handle. If you have a short deadline to meet, UV Offset Printing Services is the solution. ”
We compared the two prints and after only 20 minutes you saw a small but noticeable loss in color depth and fine details on the traditional print when the ink slowly dried up and leaked into the substrate. It was not a bad print; it was not a dramatic difference, but the difference was clearly present. In itself I would probably never have questioned the appearance, but compared to the LED UV print there was no competition. It probably doesn’t even matter if you use coated paper or print something heavy, but if you have a beautiful design and you want your image to appear on the page without compromise, you have to print completely and that means LED UV.
LED UV is the best choice if you want your images to please your reader in detail, bathe them in color and engage their senses with textured surfaces, because that’s the kind of impression your brand reminds.
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