Printing of any kind has always been linked with man’s passion for reading and writing. While printing used to be a somewhat difficult task back in the old days, Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of movable printing in 1439 helped to make printing a much easier process. Since then, countless more inventions have made it even easier – and today, the printing industry is capable of printing books, booklets and anything else in very large quantities.
Printing can be done in many different ways (with some methods being slow, while others are able to do almost instant printing in Singapore) and listed below are some of them:
• Letterpress – This was the process introduced by Gutenberg. Letterpress used to be the most widely used type of printing, but it is slowly being phased out in favor of more recent printing techniques. Although it is considered obsolete, there are still some niche uses for letterpress, such as in the making of wedding cards and other invitation cards.
• Offset Printing – Also known as offset lithography printing, this is the most common method used nowadays, especially when it comes to printing books. Here, the basic process is to make a plate with the image that needs to be printed. When the plate is inked, only the image parts will hold the ink. The plate is then transferred to a rubber plate, which is then pressed on to the surface to be printed. The reason why this type of printing is widely used is its cost-effectiveness, particularly when dealing with mass produced publications. It can be used on many surfaces, provided that they are flat. But there are some disadvantages as well when it comes to this type of printing. The most obvious one is that it is difficult to change the image on the plate once it has been constructed.
• Digital Printing – This is also very common nowadays, and it is especially useful when it comes to printing high quality content like images and photographs. Digital printing makes it possible to do so without the pictures getting blurry and smeared. Since computers are involved in this process, it requires less manpower than other processes and is also quite fast. Nevertheless, mass printing can be expensive due to the required ink and paper needed, but small tasks such as cheap digital booklet printing are better done through digital printing.
• Gravure – This type of printing is used to mass produce newspapers and magazines, but is slowly losing to offset printing. Here, images are engraved on to a cylinder, which is subsequently inked and used to print on the printing surface.
• Flexography – Flexography or flexo is a type of printing most commonly used to print packaging and labels. Here, a rubber plate holds the image that needs to be printed. The plate is inked and then pressed on to the printing surface, be it paper, metal or cellophane.