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Printing and how it works

Printing technology hit the big time with the invention of the modern print press. This allowed us to reproduce books by the thousands instead of just copying one at a time by hand, which took and an immense amount of time. With the latest development of modern technology, all kinds of printed materials are now easily found on the Internet and more are shifting online.

This does not mean that printing is not important anymore, on the contrary, it is still as important as it was ever before. The printing process itself works in a very simple way. It basically means reproducing images or words or both on some material, fabric, plastic, card or paper.

This printing process can involve anything from running off thousands of copies or making just a single reproduction of an image, a painting or a book. It mostly depends on the purpose you need a print for. Printing is nothing more than pressing, it is pressing one thing against the other.

Every type of printing is like this. Now, there are different variations and ways how you can print something. With the modern technology advent, you can now convert words and images into a printable form. This form is called a printing plate and in order for it to be printed on a certain material, it needs to be covered in ink.

When this inked plate is pressed against the material, it becomes a faithful reproduction of the original. Basically, that is it, that is what printing is. Among the most popular forms of printing are laser printing, inkjet and photocopying. These forms work by transferring ink to paper using static electricity and heat. Still, the traditional press and ink printing is still the best way to get the highest quality prints.

Types of traditional printing

traditionalTraditional printing is hard and physical work. People needed to use various machines, called printing presses. There are professional printing stores, still using these old machines to produce small volumes or printed materials. The modern printing machines you see today used to print magazines, newspapers and books, use special rotating cylinder mechanisms which can produce hundreds of copies in small amounts of time.

There are three different types of traditional printing and those are offset, gravure and relief. Relief is the most common type of printing. One of the first examples of relief printing would be an old typewriter. It was basically making a version of what you want to print on a printing plate covered in ink. Gravure is completely opposite. You actually scrape an image into the plate. Hence the name gravure. You press it against the paper and there you have it. These are all the oldest ways of printing before any of the technology we have today was available. Offset printing transfers ink in pretty much the same way but, there is one more step here. Instead of pressing the printing plate directly onto material, you have a printing soft roller.