Different printing techniques

Published: 11th November 2009
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There many different methods of printing. Technology has only become better. Initially there were impact printers that needed to physically touch the surface while printing. Now we have non impact printers and printing methods where no direct contact is required between the mechanism and surface. Let's find out more about the different printing processes.

Offset Printing:

This type of printing is extremely economical and popular. Set up time is limited and mass production of newspapers, magazines and flyers is quicker and faster. Here the text and images are transferred first on to metal plates and then onto rubber cylinders. The printing process begins and rubber cylinders offset the text onto the paper. It is also called lithography.


Flex is a special surface which is thicker than paper. The composition is different as well. Flex is used for signages as well. Flexography is the printing process on this flex surface. This technique is also used for printing labels and other matter on bottles and cardboard boxes.

Digital Printing:

It's the digital age so we have to have digital printing as well! It is quickly replacing offset printing as the most preferred printing process as it is quick and cost effective. Some believe that the quality of digital printing is not as good as offset but with newer machines and designing software it's all changing. Think of digital printing like a copy. You need plates, films or cylinders for offset printing. In digital printing the material that's needed to be printed is accessed directly from the computer and printed like a copy.


Gutenberg's brainchild, this is considered to be the original printing method. It has become obsolete but worth a mention because it paved the way for relief printing. In relief printing the image or text that needs to be printed is raised from the core surface.

Gravure Printing:

The gravure printing specially designed copper plates are used to get the job done. Needless to say, the cost of printing does go up. It helps in printing images which have a continuous tone and other effects quite similar to a photograph. This printing method is used for special effects required by printers, high quality cards, newspapers and magazines. The National Geographic magazine uses this technique for printing.


We all know what engraving is. Engraving used to be done by hand on many surfaces like wood and metal. Today we have lasers doing the job for us. Commonly used for invitation cards and letter heads. The final result is that of a special indentation.

Screen Printing:

In this printing process special screens are made out of silk or other materials to give the required effect and finish. Screen printing is done on different surfaces like ceramics, cotton t - shirts and different types of paper. The best option is to get a quality printer who will answer all your queries and help you get the best results. If you are looking for one such printer, we can recommend Thomson's GraphiPress. For more information on digital printing or for specialised brochure and flyer printing you can visit www.graphipress.com.au.

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