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- 7 Types of Printing
7 Types of Printing
Prevent your lack of knowledge of the best type of printing for your project from wasting your money, or causing you to print an inferior product. Knowing different types of printing and how they are used can significantly increase your production quality and reduce your expense.
clashgraphics.com gathered information about seven types of printing for modern creators to produce higher product volumes with superior results.
1. Sublimation Printing
The sublimination printing process involves printing text or an image onto a special sheet of paper, then transferring the image onto another material (polyester or a polyester hybrid). In this process, solids (printed ink in this case) turn into a gas without phasing through the liquid stage.
Pros: Outstanding for fine lines and details, and arguably one of the best printing methods for all-over (seam to seam) printing and helps reduce waste by using less ink during product production and saves water when cleaning up afterward since no ink or paint comes into contact with fabric at any stage.
Cons: Sublimation items must have a white or light-colored print area, black or dark-colored surfaces can't be sublimated. The item may lose color over months due to UV ray effects if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods. And, like all inkjet printers, the printheads can clog up if not used regularly.
2. Screen Printing
Screen printing is the transferring of a stenciled design onto a flat surface using a mesh screen, ink, and a squeegee. Fabric and paper are the preferred screen-printing surfaces. With specialized ink, it's also to print on wood, metal, plastic, and glass substrates.
Pros: Screen printing produces a higher quality and more durable output than digital prints. This method can be used on a variety of different print materials.
Cons: This process has a much higher setup cost than digital printing and takes more time. It also has a slower turnaround time than other print methods, and small runs aren't ideal.
3. Offset Printing
Offset printing is a common printing method in which inked images are transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to the selected printing surface.
Pros: High definition and quality for any project. With offset printing, you can expect a high-quality printed image every time, lower costs, and a fast turnaround time. You can use this process to print on most surfaces or shapes efficiently. Printing plates save time and money.
Cons: For low-quantity print jobs, offset printing can be costly and time-consuming. It takes a long time to create a plate and set up an offset printer. If you only need a few copies, the time spent on the initial setup will make offset printing a more expensive method than digital printing.
4. Letterpress Printing
Letterpress printing is a form of relief printing. Using a printing press allows multiple copies to be produced by repeated direct impressions of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll.
Pros: The process is quite simple, and after an elevated first investment, it is not necessary to make any more outlandish expenses. It is possible to personalize prints and obtain them with a much more marked and different relief than with other printing methods.
Cons: This is a slower process where the application of color is limited, printing costs can be considerably more than other printing methods, and this method is dependent on the operator’s expertise.
5. LED UV Printing
Using UV printing, it is possible to print unique designs, images, text, and textures on a range of materials or products. UV inks are exposed to the UV-LED lights built into the printer, which almost instantly cure the ink, turning it from a liquid to a solid.
Pros: Quick drying. Since the ink dries quickly (almost immediately) on the substrate, the chemical interaction with the substrate is significantly reduced, scratch-resistant, faster production, and comes out to lower cost.
Cons: UV inks won't dry without being cured, spills are incredibly difficult to clean up, initial startup costs are higher, and operators need to avoid skin contact.
6. Flexography Printing
Flexography is a printing process utilizing a flexible relief plate. It is like a modern version of the letterpress that can be used for printing on nearly any substrate, including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper.
Pros: Besides supporting multiple colors, it can be used with either water-based or oil-based inks. Currently, water-based inks have gained popularity due to their non-toxicity.
Cons: Flexography is not an ideal printing solution for small runs. Although the process is highly automated, setup can be very time-consuming.
7. Digital Printing
Digital printing prints digital-based images directly onto a variety of substrates. There is no need for a printing plate, unlike offset printing.
Pros: This low-cost, simple printing method allows multiple design possibilities with full color and gradation print (without the limitation of colors).
Cons: The range of printable fabrics is somewhat restricted when compared to screen printing, and due to fixed pricing, bulk print jobs don’t offer reduced costs.
Types of printing
In this article, you discovered seven types of printing to help you achieve superior artistic design and its efficient application to the substrate of your choice.
Knowing which printing types are available to you can increase your potential to create bigger, better, and more evolving concepts as an artist or designer.
Not learning the different types of printing at your disposal may leave your project inferior or cause you to use a more expensive process that's not necessary.
Clash Graphics Print Shop Atlanta Flyer Printing
2233 Peachtree Rd NE Ste 202 Atlanta, GA 30309