Blog - Asia Pacific Offset Limited (APOL)

Stochastic vs. Offset Printing

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With direct to plate technology, there are more options available to you: conventional offset printing or stochastic printing.  Here is what you need to know!


Offset Printing

In conventional offset printing, files are printed using a grid like screen. Dots are arranged in a rosette pattern for each of the standard printing colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK). The dots are larger in darker areas, and smaller in light areas.

Image Source


John Derian, Workman


Stochastic Printing

In stochastic printing, the CMYK dots are randomly placed and are not equally spaced.  This allows for a more continuous tone in images.

Conventional offset screens have many advantages -- greater flexibility for color density on press, more forgiving halftone reproduction, and better printing of large amounts of ink on paper.

Brodsky & Utkin, PA Press


Stochastic printing offers its own advantages -- less ink is needed for printing, it allows for greater detail when traditional offset screens fail us, it can reduce moiré patterns in images. But stochastic screening also has some downsides – it can reproduce too much detail; the grain of an image can become visible, imperfections are more visible, and holding a small dot is a great challenge on press. Tighter controls are needed which offers less flexibility in adjusting color while on press.  


If you are not sure which printing method is right for your project, let us help! 

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