Sheet fed “ and “ Web offset “ refer to the image transfer from negative working, metal plates to a rubber blanket which then “offsets” the image onto paper. The dominance of offset printing in the commercial marketplace is a result of several factors. The first is the high image quality of the plate. The second and third are the low cost and long plate life of the image carrier. Offset presses are usually multicolor, with the most common size being 28 x 40”. Large format offset has a maximum press sheet of 59.5 x 80.7”
Often used as a general term for short run, non offset color printing. Digital printing techniques are either electrostatic, like a laser printer ( Indigo - maximum sheet 13 x 19 ). Photographic, as used for C-print, continuous tone reproduction. Inkjet, which is becoming the smartest kid on the block, with formats that range from 72” wide x unlimited roll to 144” widths for ultra large format and billboard.
Perhaps the most versatile printing technique, is not limited to any substrate. Screen technology allows us to print on materials ranging from metals and polymers to wood. Ideal for short run, high quality graphics, Screen printing lays down the most opaque ink film of any discipline. This old-school technique is often the solution to tricky problems
The oldest technique, think Gutenberg. Direct printing, one color at a time with A high relief plate that actually presses the ink into the paper, hence the name. Letterpress Is a truce craft which delivers a unique product. Remember to build extra time into your Project calendar, as letterpress is labor intensive.
STEEL DIE ENGRAVING
“Engraving” relegated to executive stationery and wedding invitations, has the distinct advantage of printing opaque inks with incredibly fine detail. Limited to one color presses, Engraving is also a slow process. But like many great things, time spent is often well worth the effort. Our project gallery holds several beautiful engraves samples.
We often finish a project at the die cutter, but many projects start there. Using pressure to create a shape in paper, either by embossing or debossing with brass and copper dies. Die cutting works with adapted letterpress technology. Dead on final trimming, unique shapes, hand folding and gluing, are the special touches that add dimension to a project.
A direct cousin to embossing, heat and pressure are used with a die to transfer an image to paper. All foils do not react with paper and artwork the same way. It is essential to review the artwork for a given project with the printer prior to execution. The foils are not all metallic. The color pallet is limited and should be considered at the planning stages of design.