Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Printing and Journalism


The subject of offset (lithography), whether applied to commercial printing or newspaper production, is a fascinating one. The fascination stems from the fact that offset is perhaps a misunderstood method of producing printing or newspapers. Resistance to change has caused much of the misunderstanding. The principle on which offset is based is the mutual repellence of water and greasy substances. The rapid strides of offset as a printing process have resulted from improvements in materials and equipment. Improvements have been made in film, paper, chemicals, cameras, presses, and in more scientific knowledge of the process. Innovations to the letterpress method were slow because the consumer, printers and publishers, had not demanded a newer process until the growth and inflationary periods following World War II. Offset reproduction for newspapers is not inherently the optimum quality process. Just as some offset papers are frightful examples of offset reproduction potential, many former letterpress operations never reached their optimum. Many publishers originally switched to the offset printing process with the impression that it was cheaper than letterpress. The primary purpose for undertaking this study was to determine if the experience gained by publishers could be utilized to find better methods of making the transition form letterpress to offset. There have been many articles written in various trade publications concerning offset. Many of these articles have been written by persons who obviously were attempting to establish a point. In order to reduce personal bias, a schedule of identical questions was submitted to each participant. The publishers were also asked to make open-end comments on anything they thought would be helpful which was not covered by the questionnaire.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Offset printing


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University