We have our very own offset-litho printing press which has been specially modified to print on super-absorbent beer mat board.
Let us tell you more about this amazing machine!
This type of printing gets its name from the lithographic limestone that was once used as the plate from which an image was transferred on to paper or any other printing material.
These days, it relies on aluminium plates on to which the required image is transferred as a polymer coating which ink is attracted to. A separate image and plate is created for each of the four colours (CMYK), and it is the combination of these images that gives us our finished full-colour print.
The process is known as "offset" litho because the image is actually transferred from the plate to a rubber roller before finally being transferred to the paper or board.
Here at Thirsty's we have our very own Planeta Super-Variant litho-printing press. Affectionately referred to as "Bertha" or "The Beast", she was manufactured in East Germany during the 1980s and has been lovingly maintained and improved over the years. As a wise man once said, "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."
The press has been specially modified to handle the thick and absorbent board that we use for our beer mats. This means we get a rich and incredibly detailed print, perfectly aligned on both sides.
We see the age and type of machine we use as a big positive because, as with many things, "they don't make 'em like they used to".
Our printing process uses four colours, referred to as CMYK: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (key). The precise overlaying of these colours by the printing press is what gives us our glorious full colour print.
This method can produce just about any colour imaginable at incredibly high resolution over and over again on thousands of sheets at a time.
A great advantage of litho printing over digital print is the possibility of using "spot colours" rather than CMYK.
If a customer wants us to print with a very specific Pantone colour, then we can perform a special "spot colour" print run with exactly that colour of ink. In fact, it is possible to run two or three spot colours at once if required.