Offset printing is a printing process that involves the transfer of an image from a plate to rubber then onto a printing surface. Web press printing is a type of offset printing where the press is fed paper in large scale. Instead of sheets of paper, the printer is fed rolls of paper. Often, the paper measures more than 10 metres at a time. Some web press printers come with an internal folding and cutting mechanism.

Web presses are in two categories: heatset web press and non-heatset web presses. The main difference between these two is how the ink dries on the paper.

Heatset Web Press

Heatset web press uses inks that dry by evaporation. After printing, the paper goes to a dryer. This allows the ink to dry up faster. In most cases, the printers use glossy paper which gives the image high contrast after drying. Since the papers come out of the press hot, most printers come with inbuilt coolers. This makes it easy to handle the papers after printing. This type of printing is good in the production of magazines, photos, and posters.

Non-Heatset Web Press

Non-heatset web press uses inks that dry by absorption into the printing paper. This method results in low colour contrast. As a result, it prints low-quality productions. If the images require high contrast, then the person printing has to add a heatset tower with a dryer. This will trick into drying by evaporation thus creating high contrast images. Non-heatset web press is useful in printing newspapers, books, and catalogues.

The speed and quality of printing will depend on the brand of the printer. Because of competition in the market, different brands have extra ink to their printers. Regardless of the features, the guide to buying the best printer for the job is in how the ink dries.