UV Offset Printing

Why is UV Offset Printing Different?

Most commercial offset and web printing presses utilize conventional inks which are solvent based. In order for these traditional inks to harden or cure, the solvents have to slowly leach into the atmosphere. As these solvents evaporate, the inks begin penetrating into the paper and eventually cure or harden. The time required for conventional inks to cure can vary greatly depending on environment and substrate. This slower curing process releases dangerous chemicals into the environment and allows ink droplets to spread into the substrate resulting in dot gain and potentially muddy imaging and text. 

Each of our unique offset printing presses are equipped with a series of UV lights that work in tandem with specially-formulated inks. These inks react instantly when exposed to ultra violet light. This reaction forces the UV ink to dry on top of the substrate, resulting in more vibrant imagery with better durability on a wider variety of papers and plastics. This Ultra-Violet printing process also enables various textures and special effects to all be done inline on press, saving you time and money.


UV Offset Printing on Plastic and Unusual Substrates

More substrate options with UV printing.

For special applications such as point-of-purchase displays, outdoor signage, wraps, clear packaging, phone and credit cards, shelf talkers, magnets, stickers and other projects, there's a growing need to print on non-paper substrates such as vinyl, styrene, clear polypropylene, PVC, foils and other materials. Cedar Graphics has the equipment to get the job done.

Our presses lead the way in larger format UV curing applications. We can print with UV or hybrid UV inks as well as gloss or dull UV coatings, spot or flood with immediate drying (curing) results. Our UV capabilities mean high impact, high quality, unique applications, and immediate processing.


Why do we print with UV Inks rather than solvent based inks?

More Environmentally Friendly
  • UV inks are 99.5% VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) free, unlike conventional inks making it more environmentally friendly. 

What are VOC’S

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, including soy based inks.  VOCs evaporate at room temperature and react in sunlight to form ground-level ozone. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause various ailments and diseases.

Superior finishes

  • UV Inks cure almost instantaneously unlike conventional inks…
    • Eliminating the possibility of offsetting and most ghosting.
    • If matching to sample colors, reduces the variance in colors between sample and live job (dry backing).
    • No additional dry time is needed and job can go straight to finishing.
  • UV Inks are more resistant to scratching, smudging, scuffing and rubbing.
  • Unlike conventional inks, UV inks allow us the ability to print on a variety of substrates, including plastics.
  • UV inks printed on uncoated paper will have crisper look to text and graphics due to the ink not being absorbed by the paper.
  • UV Inks provide superior finishes to conventional inks.
  • UV inks increase special effect capabilities. 

By printing with UV inks, we eliminate quality issues like:

  • Drying
  • Offsetting
  • Chalking
  • Bad adhesion
  • Most ghosting
  • Color shift/Burnout
  • Uneven ink transfer
  • Piling
  • Picking
  • Marking, scratching, or scuffing
  • Smudging, and rubbing
  • Need for spray powder that can cause issues with digital imprinting equipment

Special Effects with Reticulating Varnish

Reticulating UV Varnish example

Reticulating Strike Through Varnish

This is a special effect varnish that is used underneath UV coating. When the reticulating varnish “migrates” through the UV coating, it gives a textured look and feel. Because of the textured effect, the surface is uneven, thus causing a more dramatic gloss/dull contrast. The light reflected off the uneven surface appears to be “duller” looking than a smooth surface.

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