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What Is UV Offset Printing?

August 5, 2021

In recent years, printing methods have advanced considerably. One notable development is UV printing, which relies on ultraviolet light for curing ink. Today, UV printing is more accessible as more progressive printing companies are incorporating UV technology. UV printing offers a variety of benefits, from an increased variety of substrates to decreased production times.

UV Technology

As its name implies, UV printing relies on ultraviolet technology to almost instantly cure ink. While the actual process is the same as conventional offset printing, there are significant differences involving the ink itself, as well as the method of drying it. 

Conventional offset printing uses traditional solvent-based inks that dry slowly by evaporation, giving them time to absorb into the paper. The absorption process is the reason colors can be less vibrant. Printers refer to this as dry back and is much more pronounced on uncoated stocks.

The UV printing process involves special inks that have been formulated to dry and cure upon exposure to ultraviolet light sources inside the press. UV inks can be bolder and more vibrant than conventional offset inks because there is virtually no dry back. Once printed, sheets arrive in the delivery stacker immediately ready for the next operation. This results in a more efficient workflow and can often improve turnaround times, with cleaner lines and less chance of potential smudging.

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Benefits of UV Printing

Expanded Range of Printing Materials

Synthetic paper is commonly used for products that require moisture-resistant materials for packaging and labeling. Because synthetic paper and plastics resist absorption, conventional offset printing required much longer dry times. Thanks to its instant drying process, UV printing can accommodate a wide variety of materials typically less suited to conventional inks. We can now print easily on synthetic paper, as well as plastics. This also helps with potential smearing or smudging, ensuring a crisp design without imperfections.

Increased Durability

When printing with conventional offset, CMYK posters, for example, colors such as yellow and magenta would typically fade after extended exposure to sunlight. This would cause the poster to look like a black and cyan duo-tone, despite it originally being full-color. Posters and other products exposed to sunlight are now protected by inks being cured by an ultraviolet light source. The result is a more durable and fade-resistant product made to last for periods of time longer than traditional printed materials.

Environmentally-Friendly Printing

UV printing is also eco-friendly. UV printing inks contain no harmful toxins, unlike some traditional inks. This reduces the risk of releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during evaporation. At Premier Print Group, we are always looking for ways that we minimize our impact on the environment. This reason alone is one of the reasons why we use UV printing in our processes.


How Premier Print Group Can Help Your Business

UV printing is just one of our many services that can benefit your business. Premier Print Group is dedicated to providing superior products and services. With almost 50 years of experience, we will assess your projects and determine the best printing method to ensure the highest quality. Contact us and let’s start a conversation.

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