There are 4 main types of business printing:
- Offset Printing
- Digital Printing
- Screen Printing
A printing plate made of mostly aluminium contains the image that has to be printed. This plate is inked and only the image holds the inking. This inked image is first transferred from the plate to the rubber blanket and then to the printing surface.
Benefit: Offset printing can be used to print on paper, cardboard, plastic or another surface, but it has to be a flat surface. Printing is clean and without any image variation. Most widely used printing nowadays. Economical for large publications.
Downsides: The ink takes time to dry so the printed material has to be left with care in a clean environment. Any haste can spoil the ink before drying and so the final printing. Safe hands are required, final delivery won’t be prompt and takes time.
Inkjet Printing: In Inkjet printing, the image is created by small drops of ink which are released from one or more print head nozzles. Inkjet printing can be done on paper, plastic, canvas, wood and floor tiles. It is commonly used for posters and signboards.
Laser Printing: Electrical charge is used to attract toner particles. These particles are transferred to the image which is printed. Laser printers are widely used in offices and small run printings for brochures and other types of documents. Used for transactional printing like bills, bank documents and direct mail.
Benefits: It is economical for small publications. Prints can be taken from multiple digital files and maintained by the owner over the long run. Blueprints can be edited multiple times before printing with ease. Prompt delivery.
Downsides: Some variation in prints may be noticed, Colors may not be exact. Still not economical for large publications and mass printing.
A plate is inked and the inked image is subsequently transferred. This is mainly used to print on plastics, cellophane and is used for packaging and labels.
Benefits: Can print great quality images on plastics and flex boards. Can take in large prints.
Downsides: Niche printing and can be expensive. Limited suppliers in the market can be an issue.
As the name says, the technique depends on a screen that is a woven piece of fabric. Mainly used for Fabric printing i.e textiles. Can be used on paper, glass and wood.
Benefits: For screen printing, it does not have to be a flat surface. The print is crisp and clear.
Downsides: The screen once made cannot be edited back, a new screen has to be made in case some change in design is required which may take time. Takes some time in drying. Complex designs can be an issue.