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Do you know how many printing processes there are?

There are a variety of printing processes, our specialties being litho and digital.

Here we take a look through the 7 main industrial printing processes…

Offset

Offset printing, also known as offset lithography works by transferring an image on an aluminium plate onto paper. The plate containing the image is then inked. Only the areas of the image hold onto the ink as it is transferred onto a rubber blanket and then onto the printing surface. This process was originally designed for flat surface designs however nowadays it is most widely used for products like books, newspapers and stationery.

Flexo

Flexography printing works very similar to offset printing as the content is printed on a relief of a printing plate and then subsequently transferred on to the surface. This process is used for printing on plastic, metal and cellophane.

Digital

Within digital printing is two further subcategories which are inkjet and xerography printing.

Inkjet

Inkjet prints work by using small print head nozzles which project ink in small droplets onto the desired surface. Inkjet is commonly used for posters and signage and is economical for short-run publications such as photo books. If the inkjet printer is inline then it can be combined with various other types of presses to print variable data such as mailing addresses.

Xerography

Xerographic printers are much more complicated. They work by passing an electrical current through a drum which then attracts toner particles to the material it is being transferred to. Following this, the substrate then passes through a fuser to ensure the particles are stuck securely to the medium. These types of printers are known as laser printers and are used within offices, and also for small book runs, brochures and documents.

Gravure

This process may also be referred to as rotogravure printing and is a technique where the image is engraved into a printing cylinder and then inked. The cylinder is then rolled over the surface and transferred onto the medium. This process is used for much higher volume jobs such as newspapers, magazines, and packaging.

Screen Printing

This printing process relies on a screen made from a woven piece of fabric, certain areas of this mesh are coated with a non-permeable material and then the remaining open spaces of ink are pushed through the mesh onto the surface. This process is not used for large runs and is most commonly used for printing on paper, textiles, ceramics, and wood.

For further information on which process is the best for you please do get in touch.