For this research, the image quality attributes of offset printing versus screen printing methods for providing high-resolution premium products, such as plastic key chains, were investigated. The three substrates investigated were Polypropylene (PP), Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and Polyester (PET). Optical properties, such as dot gain, solid ink density, ink trapping, tone reproduction and print contrast, were analyzed through color measurement and visual evaluation. In addition, the end-use applications were tested using adhesion tests, water resistance tests, and heat resistance tests to make certain that the final product achieve the best quality print and meets end-use requirements.

The results of this research showed that offset printing can be used in place of screen printing to produce premium products. According to the research results, solid ink density, ink trapping, and print contrast on screen printed sheets show better results than offset printed sheets. However, the screen printed sheets had lower dot gain results than the offset printed sheets. Although the screen printed sheets appeared to give better optical properties than the offset printed sheet, the tone reproduction curves showed that the offset printed sheet had better visual image quality than the screen printed sheet.

The results of the survey, which asked candidates to compare two images (screen printed sheet vs. offset printed sheet), showed that the majority of the people chose the offset printed sheet more often than the screen printed sheet. This also supports the results of the tone reproduction curves which show that the offset printed sheet produced a higher image quality than the screen printed sheet.

The results of the application tests determined that the offset printed sheet withstood all three tests while the screen printed sheet failed the water resistance tests and the adhesion tests.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Offset lithography--Testing; Printing on plastics--Testing; Plastic films

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Print Media (CIAS)


Scott Williams

Advisor/Committee Member

Mary Anne Evans


"I, Nutthavee Poonbunditkul, prefer to be contacted each time a request for reproduction is made."

Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at Z252.5 O5 P66 2006


RIT – Main Campus