Offset Printing Services in KenyaOffset printing is a technique whereby image is transferred from a plate to a rubber like material known as blankets, then to the printing out put which mainly papers and boards. The offset printing process is an integration of lithographic process which relies on application of oil, water and offset process on a flat image carrier.

In Kenya, offset printing is process undertaken by most of the printing companies and press firm in the most part of the country., both small and large printing firms.  As compare to other form of printing, offset printing takes about 75% of all branding and printing activities in Kenya. This IS due to the fact that most of the industries in Kenya, schools, universities, business among other entities rely heavily on paper work and offline form of marketing.

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Offset Printing Services


May 12, 2020

Offset printing services is mostly recommended for bulky printing services. This is because it economy way of printing huge runs quite faster than ordinary or digital printing on less cost.

Offset printing is a process which involve a series of activities right from designing to final output.  The following process are involved in offset printing:

Art work preparation

The offset printing process start by obtaining the right artwork. The artwork is prepared by offset graphic design and maximized for offset print. Depending on the designing software which the printing company may have, the artwork is either in Corel draw, InDesign, illustrator, PDF among others. This step is vital because the artwork must be correct in order to have a quality output and print. Lucky enough, Kenya printing industries have a number of high trained and experienced graphic designers for the task.  A printing firms may have in house designer or outsource designing services.

Plate making

The next step of offset printing services is making plates. Plate are metal like material which has a featured to transfer images into an offset printing machine. Unlike, years back when this process was cumbersome, the introduction of CTP (computer to plate) plate making machines as made the process easier. CTP plates also are better in term of registration as compared to traditional plates where individuals were required to have a film, which was prepared manually and in turn errors.

Sample and proof of colour

At this juncture, you have the plates ready for offset print. But before actual printing happens to may need a print proof. The sample proof helps the operator to get the actual collection or understand the colour combination has embed on the plates. This step may not be necessary depending on the task. For instance if the work being printed is one color , for instance black and self-explanatory, this step may be omitted. But most printing company and good printing practice advocates for the same.

Actual printing on offset machine

This process involves the actual plates being fed on the offset printing machines for run. This process of running onto offset printing machines varies depending on two aspects: one, the type of the machines the printing company owns and two, the number of colors on the job.

On one color printing machines, the operator may need to have several runs before achieving final output, while on 4 color machines, I run will produce a final print.


The last time of offset printing process and services involves finishing activities. The printed works may need to undergo several finishing. This may differ depending on the time of work and final output. Some of the finishing include: cutting, perforation, serialization and numbering, punching, lamination, perfect binding among others,

Offset Printing Machines

For any printing company to undertake offset printing services it must have offset printing machines. Or at least me able to access the offset printing company.  Offset printing machines are quite expensive machines and thus not very printing firm can own them, but in turn they can outsource the offset printing services from printing companies that owns the offset machines. Here are list of some of the offset machines that most of the printing companies in Kenya have: Gestetner 201/211/303, Gto 46, gto 52, speed masters 52/72 , Kord, MO machines, abdick machines among others.

Common offset printing works

There a number of print work that commonly done on offset machines. This is because it may economical or bulky. Some of this print include: books printing, transaction books printing like receipt books, invoice book. ledger etc, products labels, business forms, magazines and newsletters, posters, letter heads, brochures, folders, among others.

Lastly, there is a number of great and quality offset printers in Kenya as compared to many east Africa countries. You can visit OLS BUSINESS DIRECTORY for the printing companies listing.


Offset Printing Prices in Kenya

Offset printing is most preferred for bulky printing services. Printing in Kenya is very competitive and there is huge invest into offset printing machines as compared to others East Africa nation. The  rate cards of the offset printing works vary from printing company to another . Moreover, the prices of offset printing services largely depends on the quantity, type of printing material and indeed number of colors or runs.

To get an accurate quote of the specific item, the buyer need to contact specific printing company in Kenya.

The offset printing business is a multi- – billion industry, this is mainly due to the fact that, the offset printing machines are expensive machines, and you require huge capital to invest on the safe. On other hand, you don’t need to have huge cash to engage In printing business, this because majority of the players in the offset business do outsource the print and brand activities to those who have the offset printing machines.

The offset printing industry has employee thousand of people from professionals to laborers. Here are some of the group in the printing industry in Kenya:

Offset Printing Workforce 

Graphics designers

Graphics designers are key in generating offset printing artworks and design for print. They are the first handlers of the offset printing works, since all the process of offset printing starts with graphic design services, proof samples, color separations and then set to offset printing machines for actual runs.

Graphics designers use several software to design and this may vary from one designer to another and from one printing press to another. Some of this designing software include;

  • Corel draw
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Adobe publisher

Among others books and separation software

Machines Operators

Operators ae the technical personnel behind the smooth ruining of the printing of runs, machines operators ensure the printing task comes out sharp, well registered and same quality as approved sample. The operator clamps the printing plates, we have operator for 201 machines, Gto 46 and 52 printing machines, speed master 52 or 72/74 , kord machines, MO operator, abdick operator, web machines operators among other offset machines operators.

Material estimators

Printing industry in Kenya and more so offset printing has employed a number of material estimators in Kenya. The work of estimators as the name says, involving getting the right material and the right quantity for particular job, with less wastage and accurate for the offset printing tasks.

Other personnel in the printing industry in Kenya include:Quality controls, Binding people, Machines technician, production Managers, Sales people among others.

Advantages of Offset Printing

There is a number of advantages of doing offset printing rather other form of printing like digital printing. This is because:

  • With offset printing, volume prints can be printed at cost effective.
  • The more the print runs and volume, the lower the price per piece becomes
  • Offset printing services provides a huge number of a variety of paper types with customized finishing
  • Offset printing uses petroleum-based ink. metallic, Panton colour among custom inks which other type of printing are limited to.
  • With offset printing the quality is superior and higher chances of color fidelity.

Forms of Offset Printing

Offset printing services takes two different forms.  That is:

  1. Sheet fed offset printing
  2. Web offset printing

Sheet fed offset printing

Sheets fed is the common kind of offset printing. This is regular print on machines that are fed with cut papers. The papers may be A1 Size, A2 Size, A3 Size, A4 Size, A5 size or any other size depending on the type of the sheet fed offset printing machines being used

This type of printing is commonly used for on both short and long runs depending on the type of items being printed or sheet fed machine.

Pros of sheet fed offset printing machines

  • Exceptional quality prints
  • It provides flexibility and range of printing options
  • Ability to print even small runs
  • Sheet fed offset printing is cost effective.

Cons of sheet fed machines

  • Not good for printing million impressions, has it had a lot of manual work
  • Not good for printing newspaper and other like prints

Web Offset

Web Offset printing is a form whereby the printing process takes place on a continuance paper.  In this case the papers in reels or rolls form are fed into a web offset printing. This technology of printing is far much complicated an involve a huge press, this is because the web offset machines are extremely big as compared to sheet fed.

In most cases web fed offset machines are used to print bulky books printings, exams printing, newspapers printing and other prints that are in volume. It is recommended to use web presses on extremely big volume of 10,000 units and above, or thousands runs.

Pros of web fed offset printing

Since they involve extremely large volume printing, the unit cost is very low

Cons of web fed offset printing

  • The machines are very expensive, high cost of set up
  • Since the machine are huge it requires a big working space, probably one machine per Godown or similar space

The web machines cannot handle small  printing orders


Printing services in Kenya is a well organised  operations and industry  as compared to other east Africa Country. However, there is scarce information regarding offset printing in Kenya. This is mainly because a number of huge printing companies in Kenya are owns by Asian or Kenyans with Asian origin and as such they are economical on sharing about their business in public. However, here are a few website you can get information regarding offset printing in Kenya, printing companies in Kenya, books printers, printing machines on sell, printing papers among others.

i) Printing in Kenya blog 

ii)  Top 10 printing companies in Kenya 

iii) Offset printing papers suppliers

iv) Internationa papers and boards supplied (print store)

v) Inkpaste Printers and Stationers

vi) Printing Company directory 


vii) Onpoint Digital Kenya 

Top 5 Common Offset Printing Papers

Offset  printing can not be possible without offset material. One of the key material on offset printing is printing papers. This section therefore will only list top 5 common offset printing papers

Bond papers  – Common papers in printing and publishing  books,forms,tickets,writing materials among etc.

Ncr papers – which is also known as self carbonating paper is used for forms, matrix receipts, bank slip, receipt books, invoice book printing among book that        require a duplicate copy.

Art papers  – This kind of paper is very much common and high in demand all seasons. most of the printing company in kenya use art papers for magazine              printing,reports printing , newsletter printing,posters,flyers etc.

Self adhesive papers – this is common papers in the printing industry in Kenya. it is also known as sticker paper. it used to print self adhesive labels and among sticking  items.

Bank papers  – The paper is used to print stationary, writing books and material among others.

You may find the list of offset paper suppliers on the OLS business directory 

Top offset printing company In Kenya

There is a number of offset printing companies in Kenya. from small print shops to huge commercial printing services. Printing is very competitive in Kenya however,a few printing company have received accorded from different circles for being the best. Such offset printing company is Inkpaste printers and Stationers.

Inkpaste Printers and stationers, is a leading branding and printing company in Nairobi, Kenya. It offer a wide range of printing services which include: business cards,posters,flyers,letter heads,folders, manuals printing, tender documents, conference and exhibition materials,magazines, newsletters and reports, sales and procurement books(  e.g invoice books, receipt book, cash sales receipt,delivery books),banners ,t-shirts printing,brochures,packaging materials,labels and stickers among others branding and printing services.

Inkpaste Printers and Stationers has a repute of producing high quality print and with vast experience with dealing with blue chip companies and high end clientele. The have competitive pricing plan and they can be trusted in all aspect. Inkpaste Printers has received quality endorsement from a thousand of users and companies that can not be ignored.

To order your printing services from Inkpaste Printers, use the below contact details.

Cell: +254724720002

Whatsup: 0724720002

Email: /



Twitter: @inkpaste

Offset Printing Terminologies

Here are common words used in the printing industry:

Artworks – this refereed to the designs

separations ,runs, 4 colour,gto, speedmaster, MO

proof sample,full colour, bond paper, gsm,

Paton colour, damper, Cymk, offset inks,collection

plates ,perfect binding, films , CTP plates,paper plates

Registrations,sharp,dumping, cyan, magenta,warm red,

Cylinder,Blanket ,Image,

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