April 19, 2015
details of 43 magazine on the left, and another skateboard magazine on the right, to show the difference between stochastic and traditional screen, offset printing.
on our about page, we mention that 43 is printed offset, sheet-fed, and stochastic. we thought it was time to explain what this means since we’re always excited about it.
most skateboard magazines are printed on a web-fed press, which basically means the paper is fed from a roll into the printing area. as compared to a sheet-fed press, a web-fed press typically limits the quality of paper usable, as well as the size of the ink droplets making images.
with traditional screening, ink drops hit the paper in a rosette pattern, with relatively large drops of ink, and therefore less dots per inch – a lower resolution.
with stochastic printing, the drops of ink hit the paper in a randomized pattern, similar to a photograph, and with much smaller drops of ink, 10-20 micron, allowing more dots per inch, achieving a high-resolution image.
the images above are details of 43 and another skateboard magazine, showing what the difference between stochastic and traditional screen printing looks like. the bottom 2 images show how much magnification is needed to even see the ink dots in 43.
you won’t see this much magnification with your eyes, but the difference in print quality is easily noticeable, and now you can understand how and why.