All that You Should Know About Printing

Printing is the process of reproducing words and images on a material such as paper, card, fabric, plastic, etc. anything can be printed, from a priceless painting to hundreds of copies of a book. When printing technology was invented, it became possible for books to be reproduced in bulk instead of being copied out one at a time. Although all kinds of printed materials are found online, printing has not lost its importance. You can find printed items all around you, from your t-shirt to the posters on the wall.

What Is Printing?

The word ‘printing’ has been taken from the Latin word ‘premere’ meaning press. The process of printing involves pressing one thing against another. Printing typically involves converting something into a printable form. The printing plate is covered in ink and is pressed against the material to reproduce the image on it. The process is done through a machine known as a printing press. Modern presses use cylinder mechanisms that rotate at high-speed to produce thousands of copies an hour.

What Are The Types Of Printing?

Relief (letterpress), gravure (intaglio), and offset are some of the common methods of printing. All these three methods involve the transfer of ink from the printing plate to whatever is being printed.

  • Relief is the most common and familiar type of printing. The idea is to make a reversed and sticking-up (relief) version of what you want to print on the printing plate and cover it with ink. Only the printing surface picks up the ink because it is above the rest of the plate. The inked plate is pushed against the paper.
  • Gravure is the opposite of relief printing. An image is dug or scraped into the plate instead of making a raised printing area. It is coated with the ink so that the ink fills up all the dug-out spaces.
  • Offset printing involves one extra step apart from transferring ink from the printing plate to the paper. The inked plate is pressed on a soft roller and the image is transferred to it. The roller is then pressed against the printing surface. It stops the printing plate from wearing out and produces high-quality prints consistently.