Online Guide to Printing Processes: The Basis of Creativity

The printing process is a procedure for reproducing both images and text. The most typical way that the printing process works is by using ink on paper and by utilizing a printing press. An essential part of transaction and publishing printing, the printing process is much of the time carried out as a larger scale industrial process. Throughout history there have been a variety of ways to print, such as woodblock printing from thousands of years ago to more common digital printing of today. Some types of printing processes are used more than other types because they have been found to be more efficient and better able to produce larger quantities of print. This is particularly true of the more modern printing processes.

Digital Printing – Digital printing is a type of printing from a digital-based image directly to a host of other media. Commonly, this involves smaller jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources that are printed by utilizing high-volume or large-format inkjet or laser printers. Digital printing is quite common because of the savings in labor that it entails. As a result, it will surpass the ability of offset printing technologies. Digital printing took off in the 1990s.

Electrophotographic Process – The electrophotographic process is dry photocopying method. It was a technique that was invented in 1938 by Chester Carlson, who combined photography with electrostatic printing. In the present day, this technique is employed for laser printers, photocopying machines, and digital presses. It is a method that is becoming more common as it is slowly replacing more and more traditional offset presses.

Engraving Ink – Engraving ink is opaque and dense in comparison with regular printing ink. As a result, this permits crispness in even the smallest type of detail, offering very distinctive and dramatic results on darker papers. Pieces that feature engraved inks will have a matte feel due to the raised ink. Engraving ink goes back all the way to the practice of engraving, which started in the Middle Ages.

Flexography – Flexography is a kind of printing procedure that uses a flexible relief plate. An updated version of letterpress, flexography can be employed for printing on virtually any type of substrate, which can include metallic films, plastic, paper, and cellophane. Its common uses are for printing on big areas of solid color and on the non-porous substrates in different kinds of food packaging. Flexography first was used in 1890s England by Bibby, Baron, and Sons.

GravureGravure is also called rotogravure, and it is a kind of intaglio printing procedure. It is a process that involves engraving an image on an image carrier. Said image is engraved onto a cylinder since it utilizes a rotary printing press. The beginning of gravure can be traced back to the last quarter of the 19th century. There, the technique of transferring an image photo onto a carbon tissue decked in light-sensitive gelatin was discovered. Gravure is used to print everything from labels to vinyl flooring.

LetterpressLetterpress is a type of printing that is the relief printing of image and text by using a press with a type-high bed printing press along with movable type. A reversed, raised surface is then inked and pressed on a piece of paper to get an image that is positive and reads right. Letterpress was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the middle of the 15th century. In the 21st century, letterpress has been used to generate a relief printing surface that is commonly made from typography and digitally rendered art.

Offset LithographyOffset lithography is where an inked image is offset or transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the surface on which it is printed. Offset lithography was invented in two stages. First, Robert Barclay of England invented this procedure for printing on tin. In 1903, Ira Washington Rubel of the United States, invented this process to be used for printing on paper. Today, offset lithography is commonly used in creating magazines, newspapers, books, stationary, and brochures.

ReprographicsReprographics is when you reproduce graphics by electrical or mechanical means like xerography or photography. Common uses for reprographics include archives and catalogs as well as applications for the construction industries, engineering, and architecture. People who work in reprographics produce engineering renderings, maps, outdoor signage, trade show graphics, and medical exhibits.

Screen or Silk ScreeningSilk screening is a printing method that utilizes a woven mesh to support a stencil that blocks ink. This stencil forms open areas of mesh that then transmit inks that can be pressed through the mesh in the form of a sharp-edge image onto a substrate. Silk screening has an ancient history, first known to appear in China during the Song Dynasty from 960 to 1279 AD. Its most common use is for printing on canvas.

ThermographyThermography is the reliance on heat to make images or letters on a piece of paper. There are two kinds of thermography: thermal printing and thermal ink transfer printing. It is most commonly utilized on wedding invites, business cards, letterheads, gift warp, and greeting cards. The invention of thermography is variously credited to Carl Miller or Fox Talbot.