Printing is an old craft, and its technologies are ever-changing. But the process remains essentially the same: applying pressure to paper or other substrates with ink or other fluids to create text and visual elements that convey a message.
The five major printing processes differ in how the printed image is transferred to the substrate; indirect or offset lithography is the current dominant technique. The printed substrate is usually paper or a similar material, and the image carrier can be metal, plastic or photopolymer. The amount of ink coverage is generally expressed as light, medium and heavy.
In multicolor printing the point, line or space where one ink color stops and another begins, also called break for color. The term may also be applied to the amount of ink on a press sheet extending beyond the page boundaries, known as overage.
A paper that is coated with clay and other substances to improve reflectivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper in the four major categories cast, gloss, dull and matte.
Whether it’s application forms, class handouts or wedding speeches, all kinds of documents need to be printed now and again. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for getting your prints without breaking the bank. If you’re working on a small project, try the local FedEx, UPS Store or Staples for quick and reasonably priced printing. If the job is more significant, consider a professional printer, preferably one with experience in your industry. Most towns have at least a few trade printers who offer years of experience and will yield the best results with the fewest hiccups.