When it comes to printing, the market has significantly changed over the past so many years. Earlier printing books, brochures, broadsheets, newspapers and other printed material are carried out via white-glove process. But our hearty thanks to Johannes Gutenberg’s for giving birth to movable printing machines back in 1439. Since then the printing process has been revolutionized immensely and has been widely used all across Europe and America. The movable type of printing comes with the greater advantage of faster printing of books which in turn allowed people to get in tune with the worldly knowledge and education.
Due to incessant technological advancements and up-gradations, printing has come a long way. Books and other printable commodities can now be produced in bulk in a very short span of time while maintaining the quality of printing. There are now a wide range of printing processes publishers can choose from. Let’s go though some of the most popular printing methods used today.
Offset – The full name of this Printing process is offset lithography. Offset printing technology is the most commonly used printing technique on the market, appropriate and fast for printing on paper, cardboard, plastic and other flat materials. Offset is widely used for printing books, newspaper, brochures, broadsheets, stationery, packaging, etc.
Flexography – In flexography flexible (generally rubber) printing plate is used, which stretches the range of substrates that can be printed on. Material such as Plastics, metals, cellophane and other materials can be easily printed on. Flexo technology is generally used for packaging and labels and to a less widely for printing newspapers.
Digital printing – Digital printing is a recent developed technique where printing is done using digital image through a range of media.
Different variants of printing technologies such as inkjet and xerography are also referred to as digital printing. These are the newest processes and as such, they are gradually replacing other traditional processes. They also offer new opportunities such as variable data printing, in which each printed copy is entirely different from the previous one.
Screen printing – Screen printing is carried out by using a mesh to transfer ink onto a substrate, leaving the areas made impenetrable to the ink by a blocking stencil.
This printing technique can be done on a wide range of materials and the printing surface does not necessarily have to be perfectly flat. Printing t-shirts or glass surfaces or on wood are some of the examples.
Rotogravure – Also known as gravure, is a type of intaglio printing process, this is a technique in which an image is engraved onto a printing cylinder. That cylinder is inked like offset printing and flexography, it uses a rotary printing press. The ink engraved onto the cylinder is subsequently transfers to the paper. Gravure is used for high volume work such as newspapers, magazines, and packaging.
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