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Different types of printing and the processes

colourful graphic representing cmyk and the printing process

There are many different types of printing process, so we thought we would break it down for you.

We are all probably familiar with the core printing processes such as digital printing, screen printing, laser printing. But do we all know what they actually mean? You probably have a laser printer in the office or at home, but this is no good when it comes to marketing material such as booklets, stationery or flyers. This is when you will need to look at using a professional printers.

When it comes to professional printers, there are three common printing processes. These are; Digital Printing, Screen Printing and Offset Litho printing.

This may be slightly confusing if this is not your expertise, so let’s take a look at the different types of printing processes.

Digital Printing

The digital printing process uses a digital press, using powdered toner instead of traditional ink. With the digital printing process, the artwork goes straight from a pdf to a print. The early digital presses would not compete with the quality produced by full-colour printing. However, huge advances in technology in recent years have resulted in digital print that’s almost impossible to tell apart from a litho print.

Digital printing is also a lot more cost effective as there are usually no setup costs or a minimum quantity. This makes digital printing perfect for smaller runs or if you want the print to be personalised for a marketing campaign.

Screen Printing

The Screen printing process has been around since the early 20th century and this type of printing process is still used to this day. Screen printing is mainly used for printing on fabrics, glass, wood, signage material and many more.

The printing process is simple, the image is transferred to a very fine mesh and the areas that are to be left blank are covered with a substrate. The process then involves pushing the ink through the small openings in the mesh onto the final material.

Litho Printing

With litho printing the artwork is transferred to metal plates, from this the artwork is then transferred again to rubber blanket. Then the inked blankets transfer the image onto the final paper stock. The printing process is called offset because the ink is first transferred from the plate to a blanket rather than going directly on to the paper. This can become rather costly as there are usually setup costs and a lot more time is needed to prepare the inks and plates. This is all before anything is actually printed.

This method is not cost effective for smaller runs and is usually used when large volumes of the same print is needed.

If you liked our guide on different types of printing process then please let us know. If you would like any more information or some guidance, feel free to get in touch with us!

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