is the most common printing process. There's sheetfed as well as web
offset. Web presses use webs or rolls of paper; sheetfed presses use
paper that comes in sheets. Ink is offset (transferred) from metal
plates to a rubber blanket (cylinder) to the paper. Most commercial
printers do offset printing. Offset is used for all run lengths - from
short to long. Web presses are used for long runs. Don't presume you
know which press your job should run on. It all depends on the specs,
particularly size, paper, format and quantity.
is "relief" printing. It was founded by Gutenberg in 1440. Relief
printing means the images on the plate are higher than the surface -
think rubber stamps. Fine letterpress is being done by fewer and fewer
printers, but it is absolutely gorgeous.
is another type of relief printing. It uses flexible rubber or
photopolymer plates and is a web process. Flexo is used for packaging
products that include cardboard boxes, grocery bags, gift wrap, and can
and bottle labels.
(aka "intaglio") is used for printing millions of impressions: think
magazines, newspapers, and direct mail catalogues. It's also used for
upholstery and textiles, wall paper, plastic laminates, and postage
was always called silk-screening, but today's screens are also made of
fabric like nylon or Dacron, or even stainless steel, as well as silk.
Ink is forced through a screen, using a stencil pattern. Typical uses
are T-shirts, signage, point-of-sale displays, decals, and truck
produces the sharpest image of all. Steel dies are cut or chemically
etched to hold ink. Paper's forced against the plate using tremendous
pressure, causing an embossed (raised) impression. Run your fingers over
the back side of the sheet and you'll feel the engraving. It's a dead
is a less expensive alternative to engraving if you want raised
printing. It uses special powder that adheres to any colour ink. Uses
include all sorts of stationery products. It doesn't require a die, as
is a general term describing copying and duplicating. Think in-house
copying departments and copy or quick printing shops. (But today, every
job is a quick printing job, isn't it?) Duplicates are made of your
is the newest kid on the block - and every customer and company I know
has a need for digital printing. Today's presses use either toner or
ink-jet technology. A brand-new image is made from your digital file
every time. Digitals ideal for short-run, fast-turnaround jobs. You can
print exactly the amount you need, which means no waste. Digital has
improved tremendously, in pricing as well as quality. Most printing
firms offer digital.
Variable Data Printing (VDP)
is a type of digital printing that lets you personalise every copy.
Words, images - or both - can be changed with each impression.
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