What are the popular types of printing services?

Posted by Rahul Shah on February 23rd, 2021

With the advancement in technology, every industry has witnessed significant growth in its functioning. The print industry is no exception to it. It is one of the biggest industries in the world both in terms of money and the customer base.  No matter what kind of business you own or the sector you are in, printing services are an essential part of all business sectors.

One of the major revolutions in the printing industry is the digitalization of its services. Today several online print shops function in various parts of the world. The rising number of online printing services has opened doors for new printing technologies that have made printing easier than before. But it can be overwhelming for anyone new to the print industry to decide what is suitable for their enterprise printing needs. There are several printing methods to choose from, and when you have little or no knowledge about the same it can become a little difficult for you to make your choices sorted.

There are several types of professional printing services from which you can choose. It all depends on the printing needs of your enterprise and the types of substrates that you would like to print. They have their advantages and disadvantages. Some of them are known for low volume runs while others are more suitable for short print runs. It can be difficult and extremely confusing to choose the perfect printing service for your business. Here is a quick guide on some popular printing services that you can avail, both offline and while printing online:

1.      Digital Printing: This method is one of the most popular printing techniques in the modern online print industry. It offers high-quality print output along with a speedy print process. Digital printing does not require any preparation time like preparing the printing plates. Instead of using metal plates to transfer the image to be printed, digital printing presses the image directly onto the substrate. Digital files such as PDFs or desktop publishing files can be sent directly to the digital printing press to print on any material such as paper, photo film, canvas, fabric material, synthetics, cardstock, and other substrates. It is because of digital printing techniques that online printing services have flourished over the years. It allows custom printing along with variable data printing. It is the digital printing method that has made print-on-demand increasingly popular in recent times. Two main technologies rule the digital printing industry. These are inkjet and xerography. Inkjet printers are most commonly used to print posters, signage, flyers, and other items. It is also used for short printing runs for books. The xerographic printers or laser printing are used on brochures, direct mail, shirt printing runs of books, and other documents. The fast turnaround time and cost-effective printing make it very suitable for short print runs.

2.      Offset Printing: It is also known as offset lithography printing. It is one of the most widely used printing techniques in which the inked image on a printing plate is printed on a rubber cylinder and then transferred to paper or other material. The rubber cylinder gives great flexibility, permitting printing on wood, cloth, metal, leather, and rough paper. This method is a great choice for high volume print runs. Offset printing, as the development of lithography, is based on the principle that water and grease do not mix, so that a greasy ink can be deposited on grease-treated printing areas of the plate, while non printing areas, which hold water, reject the ink. The two major types of offset presses are sheet-fed and web. The main difference between these two is that in sheet-fed, the paper is already cut before printing while in web press the paper is in a roll first and cut after printing. It is used on almost any type of printing-brochures, posters, newspapers, magazines, etc. Offset printing has the best printing quality among all the printing services. 

3.      Flexography: Flexography printing is nothing but the updated version of the letterpress printing method. It is used to print high-volume food packaging, plastic bags, labels, envelopes, tissues, gift wrap, wall covering, magazines, newspaper inserts, etc. Flexography is a roll-feed web printing process. A flexible, photopolymer plate is wrapped around a rotating cylinder for each color. Like the letterpress printing process, the graphics and text for each color are raised from the surface of the plate. Only the raised areas of the plate are inked. It supports a range of colors that can be used with water-based inks as well as oil-based inks. On the downside, flexographic printing is not very advanced. It cannot produce complicated and extensive artwork. However, quick evaporation of inks in flexography makes it a safe alternative for flexible food packaging. It is one of the fastest-growing printing methods because of its high versatility and ability to print on various substrates.

4.      Screen Printing: It is one of the most popular methods of printing and it’s the most widely used method of t-shirt printing. It is also called silk screen printing and is recognized as the most versatile among all forms of print reproduction. The process involves pushing ink through a woven mesh stencil onto fabric. The stencil opening creates the space through which the ink will go, to create the design. There are three types of screen printing methods: hand screen printing, semi-automatic screen printing, and fully automatic screen printing. The most popular being the fully automatic screen printing. It is very economical for short runs of suitable subjects and so widely used for show cards, posters, etc. It requires relatively cheap equipment with very few preliminaries. It permits printing on almost any surface. However, it is not suitable for finely detailed reproductions and is quite expensive for long print runs.

5.      Gravure Printing: Gravure printing is characterized by the excellent print quality and high printing speed. Similar to offset printing, gravure printing is also a great choice for printing high quality and high volume materials like magazines, catalogs, brochures, and other long-run publications. This high-quality printing technique utilizes direct contact between paper and an etched copper plate and can be very expensive. It involves a simple printing process, accurate ink use, and highly flexible printing machine structures. Gravure printing, due to several technological innovations, now belongs to innovative technologies. The market of packaging materials is the largest segment of gravure printing. Gravure printing also has a sheet-fed process which is used for smaller print runs. Items like artworks, photographic books, high quantity postage stamps, and some other promotional materials are printed using this method.

Depending on your printing requirements you can opt for any of the above-mentioned printing methods. However, whichever method you choose, don’t forget to hire a professional printing company that provides fine quality printed items. It is very important to consult a printing service before taking the final call. Professional printing companies suggest what is best suited for your products keeping in mind factors such as time required, cost, and the substrate used. With online print shops, you can avail yourself of these services without physically stepping out. The entire printing process is online and you can monitor it at the ease of your homes.

Online printing service provides the best custom printed products without bothering you much. They use modern printing techniques very effectively to provide excellent quality custom printing services. Advancement in printing methods has made the personalization of products very easy and cost-effective. PrintStop is one such online printing company that provides excellent quality printed products. It uses advanced methods to print personalized products and cater to the printing needs of companies and individuals. It is one of the best online printing Indian companies at present.


Rahul Shah

About the Author

Rahul Shah
Joined: August 17th, 2020
Articles Posted: 49

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