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On the 11th day of Christmas JCK gave me a hint, on the different processes used for print

With hundreds of options of how you want your print work to look it’s hardly surprising this is an area of great confusion for so many, so we thought we’d give you a little helping hand.

Although a printer is just an electronic device which allows you to produce a copy of a graphics design, text, documents and pictures, I thought I would take you through a few facts about printing. The different ways in which it can be used to enhance your print material and give you the ‘wow’ factor.

Firstly, printing companies are equal in what they can offer you. Some print companies can give you full-colour printing for your marketing collaterals but on the other hand there printing houses that offer excellent offset printing to provide you with a cost effective print job, hence, bigger savings.

Whatever kind of printer you need to accomplish the job you require, you also have to learn to distinguish the differences among the printing techniques.

Letterpress

The Letterpress is considered as one of the first printing methods of all time. The letterpress developed into the concept of relief printing, where the image being printed is raised from the surface. However, this method is slowly becoming obsolete with the new and much faster methods being introduced in the market today.

Lithography

This is the most common printing method in the industry with most books, newspapers, and magazines are printed using this method. Printers use offset lithography to save on ink and time.  What printers usually do is offset the ink from metal plates to a rubber cylinder and then transfer it onto the paper. This enables you to avail of a more affordable print job for your colour printing requirements.

Digital Printing

Since digital printing was introduced, it is the most popular printing method. It is extremely effective, as it reduces the time to complete the printing process. When you need something printed immediately to meet a deadline, this is what you use. It doesn’t need films and plates as it transfers the digital file directly to the printing press with the help of a computer.

Electrostatic Printing

Similar to photocopying, this method lets the colour blend with the paper adding the application of heat. It is similar to digital printing as it also provides cost-effective production of short print runs.

Thermography

What the printer does is to use a special powder or dust that easily sticks to wet ink. Then they apply heat to blend the ink and the powder to form the raised image.

Although perceived as a complex area as I mentioned before, the most important factor surrounding these methods is what is suitable for YOUR business needs. There are several options and choosing the right one for you is vital in achieving the results you imagined, visually and financially.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jo Stickings

Jo has worked in the media industry for over 20 years. She has worked with businesses of all sizes - from corporate companies and the public sector, to owner managed SMEs and micro businesses. She loves helping clients with their customer attraction and retention strategies particularly when this involves a multi-media approach. She has a down to earth, no nonsense approach and a 'let's get on with it' attitude which keeps clients coming back for more.

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