June 2, 2023

Tricia Oak

Business & Finance Excellency

What Are the Different Types of Printing?

A lot of people are familiar with terms such as digital printing, screen printing, and laser printing, but did you know that there are even more types of printing than these? Below are additional printing process types and how they work. It will help you identify the best way to print your artwork or you can seek professional advice from a Print Company Denver CO, to know what’s best for you.

Inkjet Printing

Inkjet printing is an incredibly versatile method adaptable to various materials. The technology uses a nozzle to extrude liquid inks. These inks are tuned to suit varying viscosities and curing requirements. As a result, the print head can process a wide range of materials in one step and print on non-porous surfaces.

Inkjet printers can produce color prepress color proofs, which show what the final product will look like when it is printed on a large press, such as an offset lithography press. Inkjet printers can also produce giclee output, which is the result of iris printing. In addition, inkjet printers can produce fine-art reproductions.

Sheet-fed Printing

There are a few differences between web and sheet-fed printing, but the two methods are broadly similar. Sheet-fed presses are much less expensive to operate and better suited for small projects, such as direct mail pieces. Web-fed presses are geared toward larger quantities, such as newspapers and magazines. One of the most significant advantages of sheet-fed printing is its speed. The fastest machines can print more than 12,000 sheets per hour. In addition, they can also perform many of the same functions as web-fed printing, making them an excellent choice for short-run print jobs. However, proper artwork preparation is crucial for high-quality, consistent output. 

Offset Lithography

Offset lithography is one of the most common printing processes. The process involves printing an image on a plate and then transferring it to another surface, such as a piece of paper. The ink then adheres to the plate’s image area, and a rubber blanket transfers it to the product. This method is ideal for direct mail envelopes with many images and text. 

Offset lithography has many advantages, including a high-quality finish and a more comprehensive range of colors. Generally, it is used for high-volume orders, increasing the cost, but the image quality is higher than for a low-volume order. One of the main differences between offset lithography and other printing methods is that the process involves using rubber blankets. These blankets can conform to various shapes, making them an ideal option for printing on different materials.

Gravure Printing

Gravure printing is an offset printing process where the cylinder is immersed in an ink bath. The cylinder is then rotated by a rotary printing press, which is not used to print sheets on paper. Instead, a rotating cylinder presses an image carrier, such as a rubber stamp, against the form. This process is more costly but produces high-quality results for large print volumes.

The main differences between gravure printing and offset printing are in the substrate. Generally, non-paper substrates tend to be more heat-sensitive and prone to stretching, whereas paper is more absorbent and resists tearing. Therefore, the feeding of gravure printing presses differs based on the substrate type, and a paper press often must print on both sides simultaneously. It is also possible to print on various materials, including plastics.

Large Format Printing

Large format printing is the same as digital printing but is done on a much larger scale. Using a digital file to design the image, the printer sends it to the large-format printer. Large format printers use large-scale, nozzle-equipped printers to produce CMYK prints on various types of material. The printer then feeds the material through the printer and places ink on the surface.

A large-format printer uses solvent-based ink to print onto vinyl and other materials. Because these inks are solvent-based, they dissolve every substrate material. Some printers can even print directly onto fabrics and metal. Although some think that large-format printers are expensive to own and operate, this is not the case. Instead, they’re more efficient and often cost less to use in the long run.