What Is The Difference Between Offset Printing And Letterpress? 

There are different types of printing methods that the publishers apply to print books, magazines, or anything else. If you have an in-depth look at the printing technologies, you’ll find two main printing methods. Those two main printing methods are- offset printing and letterpress. Now, what are the differences between these two types of printing methods? That’s the main substance for further discussion. Before you select one of these two methods, you need to know about these in detail.


This method is there in the printing industry from the initial days of printing. You will be astonished to know the method started at the time when Gutenberg started the first-ever printing press. Although you might not be able to find the usage of letterpress too much nowadays. The other modern printing techniques have occupied the space of letterpress. But the heritage of letterpress is still able to get respect from the printing society.

Offset Printing And Letterpress

In this process, you will have a surface area that will contain the letters. The letters are usually made of wood. You usually have to get that surface inked and press that hard on the paper or another printing substrate. In this way, you will be able to create an impression of the letters on the paper or printing substrate. To print with letterpress, the printers below 20000 rs budgets had to create the letters and characters individually. Also, they used to get all the types inked with a roller-like substance. So, the whole process is time-taking. If you want to print with the letterpress method, you have to invest a lot of time.

You can divide the whole task into four different parts or phases. The four phases of the letterpress method are- composition, imposition, lock-up, and printing accordingly. In ancient times, the printing shop owners used to perform all these phases under a roof. Later, the necessity of printing increased, and the printing load increased as well. Then the printing shop owners created separate departments to adjust to the workload.

Offset printing 

On the other hand, the technique of offset printing is pretty similar to ancient lithography.

In the lithography process, the printer used to use a flat stone surface with water-retaining material that could withstand ink. After that, the printer would get the surface inked and press a paper on the surface. In this way, the impression of the letters or pictures could be created on the paper.

In the case of the offset printing method, the impression of the letters or the image gets printed on a plate. Usually, the printer places such plates on a cylindrical structure. The printers get those cylinders inked through print rollers. The cylinders transfer the ink to special kinds of rubber rollers, and that eventually creates the images or impressions on the paper. In simple words, with this process, the printer transfers the ink to blankets or rubber rollers first, then to the paper. That’s why the process is named as an offset printing method.

So, the main procedures and techniques of these two types of printing are different. You can find the offset printing method getting used nowadays. But the letterpress printing can hardly be found.