Types of Printing Processes

Printing technology has come a long way since it its invention in the fifteenth century. Today, there are dozens of different ways to transfer an image onto paper or other surfaces. The majority of these technologies are used for industrial or large-job printing, but most businesses will need to make use of them at some point or another.

Offset Printing

Offset printing uses rollers that are run through water and liquid ink. The ink adheres to words and images on the roller, while the water adheres to white spaces. The inked parts of the image are then transferred to the print surface.


Letterpress is the original method of printing, made from blocks on which letters and images are raised. Though letterpress printing dates back more than 500 years, it has fallen out of favor somewhat because it is no longer as cost effective as other print methods.

Digital Printing

Digital printing allows printing directly from a computer screen to a print surface. It is fast and requires little manpower, but colors can sometimes look different on the screen than they do on a physical surface. A lot of the printing differences can be caused by the type of printer toner you are using; try using a different cartridge or speaking with a printing specialist about what you can do to enhance the printing quality.


Engraving is a long printing process in which the images the printed images are also pressed up from behind. This gives the image an elegant raised effect.

All of the following print types produce similar results, but small difference make each better suited for different materials and types of jobs.

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