Advancement in technology has led a great progress in printing methods. Today, several printing processes have come to be useful for businesses – it’s been possible customize to the needs of each business. Before the invention of the printing methods people suffered a lot for making printings to promote their business. It has been a pain-stacking process for them earlier to print books, brochures, broadsheets etc. Today, the job has become easy – many types of commercial printing techniques evolved in the market. Today, there are diverse commercial printing methods used by businesses and publishers according to the needs of their business. We’ll discuss here a few of them.
Offset printing or lithography
Offset printing is the common form of commercial printing. This is used for producing promotional item like brochures, newspapers, letterheads, etc. There are different kinds, sizes and qualities of offset presses. There are two major types – one is sheetfed and the other is webfed. In sheetfed form, the paper is cut into pieces of appropriate size and are run through the offset printer whereas in webfed form, the entire large paper rolls are run through the printer and are cut later. Both kinds of printing are used for producing different prints. Earlier lithography was used where the etched images on a flat stone, but in modern offset printing the image is first transferred to rubber blanket and from there to the paper. This is how printing is done in offset lithography.
It is also known as flexo. It is a versatile process that uses photo-etched plates. Here, the non-image area of the plate is carved or etched and only the printing surface is left, which carries the ink directly to substrate. Technology advancements made this flexography well suitable for the making prints on a substrate and it is supplied in the roll form. This type of printing is mostly used for labels, tabs, cartons, corrugated boxes, etc.
Letterpress is the conventional method and is the original process done by Johannes Gutenberg. In letterpress, the image area is raised above the rest of plate and then a physical impression is made on the paper. However, modern letterpress uses photo-etching technique.
With advancements in technology letterpress printing is less popular. Today, it is only used for special job-works like fine arts, books, posters, imprinting business cards, etc.
If you want high quality printing with a layout containing more images, you can use digital printing for the purpose. Digital printing is the most widely used method today in printing because of its multiple benefits – it doesn’t require huge set-up and man power, just takes the print directly from the computer and prints quickly with high quality.
It is a popular method used for printing letterheads and stationery even today. The images created by this method are attractive, they are printed on paper and are raised or engraved making a distinct. It is used mainly to create corporate logos or invitations for formal parties. It is expensive and involves skilled work.
It is a versatile form of printing process. In screen printing, the ink is sprayed through a stretched fabric mesh with the help of a squeegee blade for producing the original image on the substrate below. It can be done on a variety of materials such as, metal, plastic, paper and glass.
Electrostatic printing is completely different from above processes. In this process, the paper is coated with zinc oxide, which acts as a conductor when exposed to light and insulator in the dark. This type of printing is just used for short run printing for example geographical maps. It is famous because it does the printing faster than the inkjet printers.