What is Printing and Why it is Important

Printing Press is one of the greatest inventions ever made which revolutionized the world we live in now. In the year 1440 goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press & started the printing revolution. Today even in this digital age it is hard to imagine a world without printed material.

Print media is an integral part of everyone’s daily life & will always be. Anywhere you go like a restaurant, office, shopping malls, trains, buses, etc., you are always surrounded by printing in some form. Throughout the globe, printing has been ingrained in everyone’s life through different print media. Even with the advancement in various digital technologies, printing & print media is hard to be ignored & whether it’s a big corporate, small or medium enterprise or individual everyone needs printing services.

In this article, we will discuss why printing is important and what are the different printing technologies that you can use to print.

Table of Contents:

Printing

1. Printing Technology:

There are multiple types of printing methods available & each method is evolving and growing with the use & help of advanced technology & engineering in machines, inks, software, etc.

Each printing method can be used for a very specific job requirement meaning the business can choose a particular printing technology that enhances & highlights their services or products, for e.g different printing technology is used for printing jobs like books, newspapers, magazines, posters, packaging & more.

Below are the different types of printing technology & how they are different from each other:

1. Offset Lithography (Offset Printing)

2. Flexography

3. Digital Printing

4. Large Format

5. Screen Printing

6. 3D Printing

2. Offset Lithography (Offset Printing):

 Offset Printing is one of the most popular methods of Printing & is used to print a variety of printing products like leaflets, catalog, brochure, newspaper, magazines, stationery & much more. It is also used for packaging printing like wrappers, cartons, boxes.

In offset printing, the ink is not transferred directly on the paper, it uses an aluminum plate, through the plate and rubber blanket in the machine the contents are printed on the paper. Below is an image of the plate.

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Aluminum Plate for Offset Printing

In offset printing, there are three major types of printing machines – 1. Web offset, 2. Sheet Feed & 3. Quick Set

2.1 Web Offset Printing Machine:

In this type of printing, the paper in the machine is fed in continuous roll form. These are big rolls that come from the paper mills. Once the printing is done the paper is cut into the required size of the printing job. It is best suitable for very high volume/mass production printing quantities like Newspaper & Magazine.

These are expensive machines and the setup cost is high for each job, hence it is best suited for higher volumes, higher the quantities lower the price.

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Web Offset Printing Machine

2.2 Sheet Feed Offset Printing:

In this type of printing, the paper is precut as per the size of the machine and then loaded into the machine. So as the name suggests sheet of paper is feed into the machine against the paper roll that is fed in web offset.

Offset Printing Machine
Sheet Feed Offset Printing Machine

These are relatively less expensive machine as compared to web offset, & it is easy to operate & maintain & generates a good quality of printing. Some of the examples are leaflets, brochures, catalog, letter-head, etc.

2.3 Quick Set Offset Printing:

This type of printing is majorly used for high-quality printing such as periodicals. As the name suggests the printing machine is easy & quickly set up and as compared to Sheet Feed Offset Printing & Web Offset printing the ink dries slowly in Quick Set which allows saving of printing ink & on the other hand, the printed ink on the paper dries faster which enables in a time-saving and quick process.

So above three are the major offset printing types and as per your job & budget specific you can use any one of the above Offset printing types.

3. Flexography:

Flexography Printing has been here for decades, your candy bags, snack bags, labels, cereal boxes, cartons, pizza boxes, double-sided medication labels are some of the examples printed using Flexography Printing, it provides optimal output quality. The ink used in Flexography dry quickly by evaporation and is safe for use on wrappers that are used in food packaging.

Flexography is a popular choice for its high speed, long runs, and ability to print on a wide range of media like plastic, metallic film. Liquid inks with a low thickness are used for printing.

4. Digital Printing:

Digital printing is the modern method of printing and there two different techniques- Inkjet Printing & Laser Printing. As compared to Offset Printing & Flexography wherein plates are used for printing, in Digital printing the computer data is directly printed on the paper.

Digital Printing
Digital Printing Machine

Digital Printing can be used to print multiple products like stickers, labels, ID cards, Visiting Cards, letterhead, documents & much more. It is best suited when there are lower quantities of printing required. It has zero setup cost and the turnaround time for most of the jobs is few hours, you can get your printed job the same day using digital printing. You can also print a specific/exact quantity of your job; e.g. you need 55, 110 then the same quantity of the job can be printed. Digital printing can be printed on different types of Papers like Art, Gloss, matt paper, art card & many more

5. Large Format Printing:

As the name suggests Large Format Printing is used to print maximum width/size jobs. It is perfect for traditional advertising wherein the business can target customers by making a big impact. It enables to print & work on large areas.

Big Hoarding, billboards, wallpaper, banners, floor graphics are some of the examples that are printed using a larger format which can be used on big walls or elevated platforms enabling 1000s of views per day. No other technology is best suited for a large coverage of the print area.

Large format also includes Sunboard Printing and you can check in detail at https://parekhdarshan.com/sunboard-printing/

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Large Format Printing

6. Screen Printing:

Screen Printing is a traditional method of printing and has been used for over 100 years. Screen printing is used for a high-quality look; the thick layer of ink applied sits on the top of the medium being used for printing & hence it lasts for a longer period.

Screen Printing

It is majorly used for printing on T-shirts, Caps, Lanyards, Balloons, Files & Folders, Diary, Merchandise, and Paper. Screen printing can be a complex process and time-consuming depending on the number of colors required, printing is done manually using ink & mesh.

7. 3D Printing:

3D printing is the latest printing technology & many businesses, manufacturing companies, factories, hospitals, schools & more have started implementing & using 3D printing for multiple uses. 3D printers use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to create a 3D object from a variety of materials like plastic, plastic powder, bio-materials to create objects that may of different sizes, width, height & colors.

3D Printing
3D Printing

3D printers are extremely flexible and are accurate & fast which makes a great tool for future R&D for various products. Many companies are using it for rapid prototyping and then test the same in the real environment which helps in saving thousands of dollars & time. (ref:

https://www.bbpress.co.uk/

So above we have discussed the most popular printing methods and the best method that you can use for your specific printing requirement. We will further discuss different types of printing products that are commonly used and what type of printing method is best suited.

8. Visiting Card:

Visiting card or business card is an important tool to create a good impression when you are meeting a prospective client for the first time & plays an important role in delivering the first introduction of who you are and what your business does.

Your designing and printing quality plays a very important role in having a very good visiting card that can be shared with every business person.

A nice design and a professional-looking visiting card that can you share brings about confidence & knowledge that you are prepared for every opportunity that comes your way. Whether you are making a good first impression or giving satisfied clients your contact info for next time, Visiting card plays an important role.

Depending upon the design you want to print your visiting card & also being cost-effective Offset Printing is best for bulk quantities & Digital Printing can be used for small quantities & urgent requirements. You can also use screen printing.

Visiting cards can be designed using a standard size of 3.5” x 2” but may have an extra 1/8” blank space around the entire design which helps in printing.

9. Letter-Head:

Every company requires letterhead for an internal or external requirement. Professionally custom-designed letterheads can also be a very effective tool for marketing to connect with your customer. In addition to being a communication channel, it is also a physical representation of your company & brand and adds visibility & credibility.

Every company requires letterhead for an internal or external requirement. Professionally custom-designed letterheads can also be a very effective tool for marketing to connect with your customer. In addition to being a communication channel, it is also a physical representation of your company & brand and adds visibility & credibility.

You can find a lot of good templates on the internet and can design accordingly, you will need to design your logo using a good graphic designer who can understand your business and hence design accordingly. The standard size of Letter-head printing is A4 size ( 210 mm x 300mm) &  we suggest printing on 100gsm paper.

https://www.vistaprint.in/

10. Envelope:

The envelope also plays an important role in creating brand awareness & credibility. It is the envelope in which you will be sending all your important communication, correspondence, applications, invoices & much more and it will envelop that will be seen first before the actual paper inside it, Hence it should as professional and up to the standard that it matches your brand.

With four color printing & great design, you can create an easy to recognize look that would mark your correspondence that would grab the attention of the reader & increasing the chances of people taking more interest in your letter, and have positive feedback from them.

 You can print your envelope matching your letterhead & Visiting card which would create a great brand identity. You can print envelopes in multiple sizes, but for your normal communication 9.5” x 4.5” is best suited.

https://parekhdarshan.com/top-printing-services-in-mumbai/

You can view my other article for top 02 printers in Mumbai, where you can print all your printing requirement.

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Stationery Printing

11. Conclusion:

We have discussed in detail what are the different types of printing which would help you to select the best-suited method for your printing requirement.

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