Printing is a process that produces text, images, and other materials from ink and paper. It is generally an industrial process, and is an essential part of transaction and paper-based publishing. It is also used for photography, which is the process of making pictures on photosensitive paper, using either a negative or positive image source.
Printing is a complex process involving a wide range of materials and techniques. The first step is the creation of printing plates. Usually, a separate plate is made for each color of ink. These printing plates are then mounted onto the cylinders of the printing press. The rollers then apply ink and water to the imaged areas of the plates, which transfer to the paper that is passing through the press.
Another common printing method is rotary screen printing, which uses a perforated cylinder to create a pattern. This process is usually faster than other methods, and is a good choice for repetitive patterns such as textiles and wallpaper. Other printing techniques include flocking, which adds a velvet-like texture to textiles or paper. Finally, intaglio printing is another process that is used in industrial settings.
Offset printing is also a common printing method, but it is more expensive. Due to the cost of plates and ink, this method is generally not cost-effective for small batches. For these reasons, offset printing is usually reserved for very high-volume production.