Offset printing or web offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a water-based film (called “fountain solution”), keeping the non-printing areas ink-free. The modern “web” process feeds a large reel of paper through a large press machine in several parts, typically for several meters, which then prints continuously as the paper is fed through.
Ultra-violet cured coatings can be applied over ink printed on paper and dried by exposure to UV radiation. UV coatings can be formulated up to 100% solids so that they have no volatile component that contributes to pollution. This high solids level also allows for the coating to be applied in very thin films. UV coatings can be formulated to a wide variety of gloss ranges. UV coating can be applied via most conventional industrial coating applications as well as by silkscreen.
Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small-run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers. Digital printing has a higher cost per page than more traditional offset printing methods, but this price is usually offset by avoiding the cost of all the technical steps required to make printing plates.
Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil to receive a desired image. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A fill blade or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink through the mesh openings to wet the substrate during the squeegee stroke. Basically, it is the process of using a mesh-based stencil to apply ink onto a substrate, whether it be t-shirts, posters, stickers, vinyl, wood, or other material.
Graining is the practice of imitating wood grain on a non-wood surface in order to increase that surface’s aesthetic appeal. Training was common in the 19th century, as people were keen on imitating hard, expensive woods by applying a superficial layer of paint onto soft, inexpensive woods. Training can be accomplished using either rudimentary tools or highly specialized training tools. A specialized thick brush used for training is often called a mottled. It is carried out in layers, with the first layer being a base, and then a second layer applied later, today usually by means of a sponge. During the 19th century, however, brushes were more commonly used. Training can also be applied to bricks and brass, as is more common today.
Hot Stamping Folding & Embossing
Hot stamping is a dry printing method of lithography in which predried ink or foils are transferred to a surface at high temperatures. The non-polluting method has diversified since its rise to prominence in the 19th century to include a variety of colors and processes. Widely used on plastic and paper (where it is a common technique in security printing), it is applicable to other sources as well.