Welcome to our Knowledge CenterYour online guide to Print, Prepress & Graphic Design
The story of printing predates history itself. From cave paintings to ancient woodcuts, all the way up to the digital age, the printing craft has evolved over generations of ...
A great print job begins long before ink even touches paper. In order to ensure success one must have an overall understanding of the printing process and a clear vision of what they need.
Designers have greater control - and responsibility - over prepress than they may realize. In order to design effectively for printing applications, you must first become intimately familiar with your tools.
Color is the range of electromagnetic energy that is visible to the human eye. All colors are actually composed of white light which, as discovered by Sir Isaac Newton, would split into its respective hues when passed through a prism.
Consider this fact - Roughly half of all files sent to the printer cannot be output as expected. The reasons run the gamut from missing fonts and images to the use of incompatible software.
A proof is a quality control tool that is used to communicate the overall concept of a project between a client and the printer. It is a great safety measure designed to catch potential problems or errors before a job goes to print.
*Substrate* is a term used to describe the base material onto which images will be printed. Base materials include (though are not limited to) papers, fabric, plastics, foils and films.
Ink ingredients fall into three main categories: pigment, vehicle, and additives. Because there are so many different types of printing processes and print applications, the ingredients used in these three categories v
Printing plates are used to transfer an image to paper or other substrates. The plates may be made of metal, plastic, rubber, paper, and other materials. The image is put on the printing plates using various processes.
Offset lithography is the most common form of commercial printing, due to advantages in quality and efficiency in high volume work. The types of printed materials that can be produced with offset lithography are numerous and varied.
Digital printing is generally defined as any type of print process that utilizes electronic files from a computer to output a printed piece from dots of ink, toner, or dye.
Screen printing has been used for centuries and although there have been many improvements with the technology, the process still consists of forcing ink through a stencil covered fabric or wire mesh which has been mounted in a sturdy frame.
Gravure is a high quality printing process capable of producing printed images which have a continuous tone effect similar to a photograph. The gravure process utilizes a metal printing cylinder onto which the image is etched.
Thermography is the process of spreading thermal powders on the wet ink of a print application and heating it in order to melt the powder into a single solid mass which is raised above the printed surface.
*Flexography* is a printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate that can be adhered to a printing cylinder. It can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper.
The letterpress process is referred to as a "relief" process because the printed image is produced from a plate in which the image area is slightly raised above the non-image surface of the plate.
Large-format printers (also known as wide-format) are generally accepted to be any printer with a print width between 17â€ and 100â€. Printers over the 100â€ mark are considered Super-Wide format or Grand Format.
Printed works can be treated with specialized coatings which are often applied in the same fashion that inks are. There are several types of coatings which serve many different purposes.
*Binding* is generally considered to be the process of fastening the sheets of a publication in the proper order and most often within a protective cover. There are various methods of binding available.
In the old days, printed applications had to be folded by hand. In time, machines were invented to facilitate and speed up this repetitive task.
A score may be used to crease the cover of a publication, provide areas for folding a document allowing insertion into an envelope, create heavy creases in shipping cartons to allow easy assembly of the carton, and numerous other applications.
Die cutting is the process of cutting shapes from sheets of plastic by pressing a shaped knife edge into one or several layers of sheeting. The dies are often called steel rule dies, and pressure is applied by hydraulic or mechanical presses.
Often used in combination with "foil stamping":/articles/foil-stamping, embossing is a process that applies pressure to the backside of a material to alter the surface, giving it a three dimensional or raised effect.
When a print project needs an elegant, non-tarnishing metallic finish to be applied to paper or a similar substrate, it's easily accomplished using a process referred to as foil stamping or hot stamping.
Perforations or "perfs" are generally classified for print specifications in one of two ways: Bursting strength and TPI, which is commonly called either "Ties Per Inch" or "Teeth Per Inch".
Three-dimensional printing is a method of converting a virtual 3D model into a physical object. 3D printers are generally faster, more affordable and easier to use than other rapid prototyping technologies.
*Promotional Printing* utilizes many different printing methods in order to create branding and marketing solutions to reach the masses. Scores of promotional tools can be made out of everyday items with a little creativity and a good printer.