Printing literally refers to a method of reproducing image and text. In India mass printing started with the duplication of religious texts by using woodblocks to print on clay tablets. In fact, printing on cloth preceded printing on paper or papyrus in many parts of the world, including India and Europe. The printing services industry has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. Moreover, in the information age of today, the world sees a plethora of options that revolve around what stationery printers and stationery suppliers have to offer.
The tried and tested method of printing in our country is the process employed by offset printers. Offset printers use a technique in which an inked image is transferred (or offset) from a plate to a rubber surface and then to the printing surface. Offset printers in India also use a process called lithography which is based on the repulsion of oil and water. The outcome of this process is that the areas which need to be printed attract ink, while the areas that need to be left plain repel it. This process is used for several mass printing service jobs including newspaper printing, book printing, letterhead printing and business stationery printing.
The packaging industry too is heavily dependent on printing service providers. Printing services catering to the packaging industry use a process called flexography, or flexo, in which a flexible relief plate is employed. Flexo is effective for printing on any kind of substance including plastic, metal films, cellophane and paper. Label printing on food packaging and pharmaceutical packaging is often done using flexo. In fact, although many newspaper printers yet prefer offset printing a number of them are slowing opting for flexography as well.
Another method largely used by stationery printers in India involves the use of the rotogravure. Rotogravure or gravure in short, is a process that involves the engraving of an image onto an image carrier which is a cylindrical. Thus, similar to the process used by offset printers, this method uses a rotary printing press. A vast majority of gravure presses print on reels of paper rather than sheets of paper. This method is commonly used by stationery suppliers in India to print almost everything from narrow labels to 12-feet-wide rolls for vinyl flooring.
One of the most common forms of printing for personal as well as commercial use is inkjet printing. Whether one observes the stationery supplier and printer under a college or the commercial office printers that does letterhead printing, one is most likely to see an inkjet printer. Inkjet printers are a preferred option due to their low cost, high quality of output, vivid colour option and ease of use. Inkjet printing can be used for printing on a variety of substrates including various kinds of packaging and even floor tiles.
Several continuous business stationery printers in India have a preference for laser printing. This sees wide application such as letterhead printing, bank documents printing and business stationery printing. A laser printer is a common type of computer printer that rapidly produces high quality text and image on plain paper. The laser printer differs from an inkjet printer in a number of ways. The toner or ink in a laser printer is dry. In an inkjet, it is wet. Over time, an inkjet printer is about ten times more expensive to operate than a laser printer because ink needs replenishing more frequently. The printed paper from an inkjet printer will smear if wet, but a laser-printed document will not. Also, if one’s printing needs are minimal, an inkjet printer would suffice, however, if the printing volume is high a laser printer is a better option.
With the array of printing services continuously increasing, we see that its applications are also endless. An exciting range of possibilities, methods and materials are now available and the perfect permutation is possible for one’s exact requirements.
New Trends in the Printing Services Industry