What pops up in your mind when you hear the word printing? Generally, people think about a machine that is filled with paper and you send in command from the computer using CTRL+P. You have the desired material in the form of a hardcopy. Printing isn’t restricted to this only. You must know that printing has a long history and the process evolved in the 220 A.D. Many of you may not know this but printing isn’t just a printer that can make copies of your data.
Printing goes back in time when people used stones and leaves to record their data. With advancements in technology, the complex method of printing has taken the easiest possible way called digital printing. From ancient printing to the modern type, there have been many types of printing and each has a different feature that makes it interesting.
Earlier, printing was one of the most difficult tasks to do. Now, with the latest technology, printing is one of the easiest tasks to perform. From printing papers to printing tenders, it is just a click away.
The different types of printing and their features have been mentioned below. Keep reading to find out;
It is a different type of printing method that can be completed without the printing press. A printing plate is used which is added with any thin material like fabric, plants, and plastic. This is called collaging and once collaging is done, the plate is coated with a material called medium. After the collage dries, you can spill ink over the plate and press it by using hands with a tool for assistance. This is a convenient choice for complex textures and delicate marks.
Engraving is the oldest form of printing, is the most complex type of printing to execute. In videos, it seems easy, satisfying, and crafty, but it isn’t like that in reality. It is a form of intaglio printmaking which originated from the Italian word intagliare that means to cut in.
In this printing method, grooves and slits are carved in the plate which will absorb the ink from the printing press. Once the plate is completely carved, it is placed in the printing press that enables the paper to adhere and catch the ink. The paper and plate are separated and the paper has the print of the carving.
It is another type of intaglio technique that includes a process called biting. In the process, a metal surface is coated with a thin layer of wax called ground. Then, the desired picture is carved in the wax or ground such that the metal stays untouched. Once the carving is complete, the back of the metal is varnished and the plate is dipped in acid. Both wax and varnish are impermeable to an acid; therefore, the carved area is affected only.
Etching allows you to achieve more precision and any design you wish for. The deeper the grooves and slits are, the more ink they will catch.
4. Offset Lithography
It is a subset of planography printmaking which was first performed in the 17th century. This is an effective and efficient choice for bulk production. An aluminum plate is used that carries the desired picture. The plates are transferred to the rollers or rubber blankets before placing it in the print media. The surprising part is, the metal and print media don’t come in direct contact; therefore, the life of the medium and any rough surface can be handled.
It is a time-saving technique that can produce all the items in bulk with versatility. It produces high-quality content for the customers. The surface can be anything like a smooth paper or rough canvas.
It is tricky to print on an uneven surface but changes in print media have brought ease to printing procedures. As the name suggests, flexibility for the new generation. You may call it the modern version of letterpress writing. It makes use of liquid inks that can dry out easily.
On a web press, the flexible photopolymer printing plate is wrapped around the rotating cylinders are used. The inked plates are rotated on high speed for better transfer of image on the printing media. Flexography is a wise choice for speedy printing and it can be used in any material like plastic, cellophane, and metallic films.
6. Screen Printing
Screen printing is a unique method of printing that doesn’t involve any direct link of plates or blocks for printing. Instead, stenciling methods are used for printing images. There are two methods of screen printing.
Beginners first learn how to make hand-cut stencils. In this method, a design is cut from a sheet of self-adhesive plastic film using a knife. The cut film is collaged with the bottom of the mesh screen and placed on top of a paper. Ink is pulled across the screen using a squeegee and it slides on the page where you have made the cuts.
The second method of screen printing is to cover the entire screen with an emulsion. Make sure the emulsion you use is light-sensitive. The liquid hardens and fills in all the holes in the screen. Using a computer, you can print the negative of your screen on a plastic. Next, the design is placed on an exposure unit with the emulsion-covered surface on top. Once the exposure unit is turned on, the light will only pass through the negative of your design.
Screen printing is an extremely proficient choice in clothing and advertising industry because it allows greater precision.
7. Digital Printing
Inkjet printers, laser printers, etc. are all the different names of digital printing. Most of you must be aware of digital printing. Digital files are directly sent to the printers and your desired material is printed on plastic, cellophane, paper, etc.
It is a time-saving method of printing which is preferred by most of the people in today’s era.
Printing isn’t any latest technological advancement. It has been in the world since the 1st century A.D. It is hard for some people to believe, but printing is listed among the oldest techniques in history.
It isn’t just a command that allows you to print all the online data on a piece of paper. It emerged in the form of etching, engraving, and monography. Now it has been eased with digital printing. Once the printing was among the toughest jobs, but now it is among the easiest job. Everything is just one click away.
Every type of printing has its own uniqueness that makes it stand out. No wonder the technological advancements are tremendous but you must know the right type of printing so that your tasks aren’t compromised. You may need printing for promotional compendiums or printing a newsletter, but it is only possible if you know which type can help you.