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Issues in Commercial Printing Inkjet and Offset Explained

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Issues in Commercial Printing Inkjet and Offset Explained

If you've ever printed a sizable number of things, you are aware of how challenging the process can be. There are several options, ranging from lithography to inkjet. However, there are frequent problems that might occur when using a printing business to create big quantities of commercial goods despite all of these options.

Let's face it: errors occur and are a necessary part of the process. However, it's still crucial to comprehend the causes of these problems and how to avoid them in the future. The most frequent faults committed while going to press using inkjet and offset technologies will be covered in this article, along with advice on how to completely prevent them.

We'll also examine issues related to color reproduction and registration as well as talk about ways you can set up a comprehensive quality-assurance system for your own commercial printing needs. So grab your favorite writing utensil and get ready for a crash course in commercial printing—we've got a lot to cover!


Overview of Common Commercial Printing Issues

Commercial printing is not without its issues--it's no wonder that companies seek to minimize the problems created by this form of printing. Whether you're using an inkjet or offset printer, there are a number of common issues that can cause problems for professionals, so it's important to be aware of them and how to address them.

Here are some of the more common commercial printing issues companies and end-users alike face:

- Fading ink: This occurs when the inks used lose their luster over time, resulting in dull prints. For inkjet printers, frequent cleaning will help mitigate this issue; offset printers may need new plates and roller compounds.

- Blurry images: Inadequately created digital images or photography can lead to blurry results with both kinds of printing. Inkjet printers will require color calibration for best results; for offset prints, use a graphics program to check for blurriness before sending it off for printing.

- Banding: This is when you get repeatable patterning or streaking in the background of an image or page. For inkjet printers, using high-quality paper and higher resolution settings can help; offset printers need to be cleaned regularly and should also use high quality plates.

By being aware of these common commercial printing issues and their solutions, you'll be better prepared to tackle any problems that come up during the print process!


Common Problem Areas in Inkjet Printing

When it comes to commercial printing, there are common issue areas that you may encounter with inkjet printing. This includes dot gain, vanishing dots, and banding.

Let's discuss what each of these is, and how they can be avoided.

Dot Gain: Dot gain usually occurs when the printed dots become bigger than what is actually set. This happens because each drop of ink expands as it is absorbed into the substrate. To avoid dot gain, you should try to select a paper stock with minimal absorption and consider using a paper with higher opacity to reduce show-through.

Vanishing Dots: Vanishing dots occurs when the dots of one color merge with the dots of another color during the going to press process, making them look like one solid color instead of separate dots. To avoid this issue, always choose an inkjet media that has an anti-setoff coating or opt for different print modes such as Print Quality and High Quality mode when necessary.

Banding: Banding is another common issue that arises in inkjet printing and it manifests in thin lines across your prints. This happens due to inconsistent ink drops from the printer’s nozzles or intermittent feeding issues from paper rollers inside your printer. You should try using Print Quality mode rather than Draft mode if you are getting banding, as this will help provide better consistency in prints.


Identifying and Resolving Common Offset Printing Issues

There are a few frequent problems that come up with offset printing. Although it might be challenging to determine the specific cause, being aware of these possible problems can help you see them early on and solve them.

Blurry graphics and Text               

One of the most frequent problems with offset printing is fuzziness in the text and visuals. This often happens as a result of dirt particles on the imprint cylinder or plate. You'll need to use a lubricating solution and cleaning cloth to wipe your plate or imprint cylinder to resolve this.

Poor Registration

Poor registration happens when colors don't align in the same position for each image printed. This can be caused by misaligned movements in the press due to machine wear, inaccurate paper guides, bad feeds, etc. To resolve this issue, regularly check all components related to machine movement accuracy and calibrate accordingly using tools like lasers.

Uneven Ink Coverage

Uneven ink coverage is another issue you may encounter when using offset printing technology. This occurs when different amounts of ink are applied onto different parts of an image — for example, too much ink on one part leading to smudging or bleeding, or not enough ink leading to fading spots. Uneven coverage can be prevented by making sure that inking rollers are always evenly loaded with ink, so they transfer an even amount onto each part of the page being printed.


Helpful Tips for Tracking & Managing Print

Print monitoring and management might be difficult, but if you understand the steps involved, the process will go much more smoothly. Here are some pointers for tracking and managing prints:

Use QR/Bar codes

You can simply keep track of your items by using QR/barcodes on them. It may be used as a tool to track production and order various parts, as well as to assist you to determine when a product leaves or enters a warehouse. If you need to quickly find anything or check sure everything is going as planned, this may be extremely useful.

Create a system for Internal Tracking

To keep track of all your various manufacturing processes, your company needs also to put up an internal tracking system. This makes sure that nothing is missed and that the pieces are all put in the right sequence. This approach may also be used for inventory management, preventing any last-minute surprises.

Streamline Your Procedures

And last (but not the least), automating your print management and tracking procedures may greatly decrease human mistakes and boost productivity. Additionally, automation makes it possible to collect data with greater accuracy, which enhances your ability to manage resources and plan for the next production runs.

You won't have any trouble keeping track of your print jobs or ensuring that the printing process is going successfully if you stick to these easy suggestions.


Understanding Color Management and Use in Commercial Printing

Color is an important consideration if you want your print production to have an impact. Color management makes sure that the outcome appears professional and represents your business properly, whether it's through vivid brand colors, subtle backdrop gradients, or raised-ink varnishes. But when it comes to color uniformity and precision, inkjet and offset technologies can present some challenges.

Let's examine a few of the most prevalent ones:

Color Bleed

This happens when one or more of the colors "bleeds" into another during printing, making the image look blurry and out of focus. To solve this problem, you need to ensure that the material being used has passed a bleed check before going ahead with production—if not, it needs to be corrected.

Colors that clash

A color disparity may occur if the printer is not correctly set up or if the printed material is given to various vendors for each step of production. To ensure that your colors are consistent across all mediums, use pantone matching systems (pms) and create online profiles for each printer you use.

Dot Gain & Dot Gain Variation

Dot gain occurs when halftones (the dots of ink used in commercial printing) absorb more ink than intended during printing. This results in a printed piece that looks washed out or overexposed. To prevent this from happening, you need to run calibration tests with each job and choose paper stocks wisely.

By understanding these common issues and taking steps to address them beforehand, you can get excellent results from both inkjet and offset print production processes—ensuring your end product looks great every time!


Troubleshooting Print Quality Issues & Avoiding Pitfalls

Print quality issues can be a major cause of frustration when it comes to commercial printing. It's important to know what type of print technology is best for a given job, and how to detect any potential problems with the print quality before they spiral out of control.

Inkjet Printing

Inkjet production employs droplets of liquid or molten ink that are sprayed onto a substrate, which produces a high-resolution image with accurate colors, making this type of technology perfect for small format jobs like labels, brochures and business cards. Potential issue: incorrect mixing of the inks can cause hues and saturation levels to be off. Solution: always test before getting into the full production run.

Offset Printing

Offset production is one of the most popular printing processes used in the commercial printing industry because it produces larger runs much more economically than inkjet printers – but it's not without its problems. Potential issue: poor registration can occur if colors don't match up exactly where they should be, resulting in an inconsistent or blurry image. Solution: make sure the machines are calibrated correctly, and check colors regularly on press sheets to ensure they meet customer specifications.



Commercial printing has come a long way in terms of efficiency and the quality of the output. However, there are still some issues that can arise during the process, particularly when it comes to the printing technologies utilized. Inkjet printing is a viable solution for some issues, while offset printing is more effective in other instances.

It is important to identify the type of issues that can occur in order to address them properly. Whether it is smudging in the case of inkjet printing, or registration and color issues in offset printing, learning the process and understanding the elements of each technique are key. With a better understanding of the process and the issues that arise, you can be sure of the best and most cost-effective way of printing for your project.

  Apr 24, 2023       by Adekunle Oludele       164 Views

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