Glossary

  • Digital Printing - The process where an image is produced digitally on a drum (like a laser printer) and then transferred onto paper using toner.

  • Engraving - A process where text or images are etched onto a metal or wooden plate. When ink is applied, the etched areas hold the ink. When paper is pressed against the die, the ink is lifted out of the etched areas. This creates raised images on the paper. This process is used to create fine stationery.

  • Flexography - Printing plates are made from flexible rubber are stretched around a drum on the press. Flexography is usually used for very high-speed applications such as packaging (e.g., cartons, as well as cans, bottles and other curved items).

  • Gravure - This process puts ink from a printing plate directly onto the paper. It is used mostly for very high-volume runs of magazines and catalogs.

  • Offset Lithography - In offset lithography (or printing), ink is not applied directly from the printing plate to the paper. Instead, the ink is applied to the printing plate to form the "image" of the text or graphics to be printed. It is then transferred to a rubber blanket. The image on this blanket is then transferred to the paper which results in the finished product. This process is most cost-effective for small to medium volume runs (up to 1,000,000 pages).

  • Screen - This process is mostly used for printing text and images on T-shirts and billboards. A screen is made of a piece of porous, finely woven fabric like polyester or nylon stretched over a solid frame. In order to keep ink off of certain parts of the screen, a stencil is used to block the flow of ink onto the cloth or paper. The screen (and accompanying stencil) is placed on top of a piece of dry paper or cloth. Ink is placed on top of the screen, and a rubber blade pushes the ink through the screen openings and onto the paper or cloth. The screen is then removed and cleaned and can be re-used again and again. If more than one color is required, the process is repeated with another screen, stencil, and different color ink.

  • Thermography - This process simulates engraving. A slow-drying ink is applied to paper and while the ink is wet, gets dusted with a resin powder. The paper is then heated to melt the powder which then fuses with the ink. The result is a raised printed surface.

  • Type Composition - How type is arranged on a page.

We're more than ink on paper.


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