Printing Help

What Kind of Ink Do We Use?

At PrintPlace we use 100% offset printing using four colors of vegetable-based ink that is free from dangerous heavy-metal pigments.

Offset printing means that we create metal plates for your print job. On press, the ink is transferred from the metal plate to a rubber mat (that’s the offset) which is then pressed against the paper. The ink used in offset printing must be oil based since both water and oil are used on the metal plate to define where the ink should go and where it shouldn’t go. The water cleans off any ink splatter from the places where there shouldn’t be any ink. Then when the metal plate is pressed against the rubber mat, only the ink necessary for the printing is left.

Four-color printing uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black (abbreviated as CMYK—where K is Key for black). Each of the four colors is pressed separately in the process, so we create a plate for the cyan, another for the magenta and so on. After a job has been pressed four times, the final color combinations appear.

Vegetable-based ink allows us to avoid using petroleum-based inks. This reduces the amount of volatile organic compounds that are released into the air during the printing process by a significant amount. Additionally, by using just the CMYK color spectrum to make up all our color options, we’re able to use ink that doesn’t contain heavy-metal pigments which can be hazardous.

You might wonder what we do for black and white print jobs. When you select the printing options you can only choose the 4 Color printing method (either one-side or both sides). Our offset presses run the same regardless of which colors you need. Even if you’re printing black text (like the inside of a booklet, for example) it’s still running through our 4-color system. We only apply the ink necessary for the printing, though.