Learning Activity 01 Prepress Research:video research on printing processes
We are surrounded by print every day, but do we know how it was printed? From our bathrooms to the cafe where we read our newspapers, we rarely give a second thought to how the products we use everyday are printed....round objects, soft objects and foil chip packets....how do they print the packaging?
This assignment started with a video giving a background to a variety of printing methods commonly used to print a variety of substrates.....I feel wiser now!
1. List theprinting process identified in this program: · Offset lithographic printing · Flexographic printing (a type of relief printing – not as fine asoffset) o Central impression(plastic film) o Stack press (prints bothsides of the substrate) o In line press (canaccommodate a number of plates and other methods of printing) · Screen Printing (high quality definition, high density colour,long life inks, large paper sheets, metal & plastic products & shortruns)
2. Whatproducts are printed using the cheaper papers in printing?
Because cheap papers havea short lifespan, products such as newspapers, which are produced daily andflyers and leaflets that have short-term promotions are use these types ofeconomical papers. Take-away foodpaper bags that have a one-use purpose also use cheaper papers.
3. Whatproducts are higher quality papers used for in printing?
Coated papers that have alonger life span are used for colourful advertising posters, glossy magazinesand books. Heavier glossy paper isthe most expensive and used for photographic work or art prints.
4. What areprinting plates made from in the offset lithographic print process?
The lithographic platesare mostly made of aluminium that has a light sensitive coating to which the photographic designs are exposed.
5. What arespot colours used for?
Spot colours are used tointensify a colour like gold, silver or to add a gloss surface for specialeffects.
6. How isdigital printing different from offset lithography?
Images or pages preparedfor offset printing are transferred and fixed to a metal plate that ispermanent and unchanging. Thisstatic image can be repeated in high volumes onto paper passing through theoffset printing press. By contrastthe data for images or pages to be printed by the digital printing method istransferred to the digital press electronically and has the flexibility toenable each page to be printed differently.
7. What are theadvantages of flexography printing?
Flexographic printing hasthe advantage of being able to be used on a wide range of material from paperto plastic, foils and corrugated board.
8. What methods are usedto dry inks?
Theprinted sheets are fed at high speeds through an oven heated to 140 degreesCelsius and when it exits the oven the paper quickly passes over chilledrollers to cool it down. Digitalinks dry by ordinary evaporation and absorption. Chemicalssuch as acetates or proponols can be added to ink to control faster or slowerdrying times required between inkings Air-dryingbetween inkings is required for short run fine art prints
9. How is digitalprinting different from traditional printing?
While the quality ofdigital printing is equivalent to the printing results of traditional printingmethods, it is limited by slower printing speed and by the fact that theprinters are limited to a maximum thickness of 200gsm paper that can feed intothe machines. Digital printersalso lack the ability to accept a wide range and variety of papers thattraditional commercial presses can.
10. What is a substrate?
A substrate is anymaterial or product that is printable,
11. Why is colouredartwork separated into four plates?
all other colour combinations can be made from the four colours.cyan, magenta, yellow and black, andthis is why they are used on separate plates.
12. Book casing refersto what?
This is the term thatrefers to the finishing process for hard cover books that may includespecialised 13. Binding andfinishing uses different equipment to finish the printed work. Explain these terms: a. Knife folding machine (also called the right-angle fold principle) AKnife-folding machine is one where the flat sheet of paper falls onto a flatbed and a knife pushes the paper through a slit in the surface of the platebetween two rollers below which engage with the paper and form the foldbelow. These machines areversatile and can fold a variety of paper and cardboards. b. Perfect binding machine APerfect binding machine is a machine that glues the folds of pages of a booktogether at the spine between two much heavier covers Aguillotine is a machine with a long blade that cuts flat sheets of paper
Researchand compare two printing processes outlined inthe program to produce a magazine and comment on their suitability orotherwise. Document your findingsand answer these questions in sentence format. Offset Lithographicprinting Offsetlithography is the workhorse of printing and nearly all commercial printershave an offset printing machine, and under the best conditions and operator,the end product can give very fine printed results. Offsetlithography works on the basic premise that water and ink don’t mix. Images that include words and art aretransferred and set onto plates. Paper plates produce a lower quality product while aluminium producesthe highest quality but is more costly. The plates are dampened first by waterand then ink. The ink adheres tothe image area, the water to the non-image area. The image is transferred to a rubber blanket, and from therubber blanket to paper. This is the reason the process is called “offset”because the image is not printed directly to the paper from the plate as doesin etching or gravure printing. These cylindrical offset printers can produce big runs moderatelyquickly with quality results. Sheet-fedoffset is another popular method of offset printing and can be found in manysmall and large printing plants, and is capable of producing high-qualityprinted products on a range wide of paper stock, as well as short runs. Sheet-fed presses print onindividual sheets of paper, as opposed to continuous rolls of paper used oncylindrical offset presses and web presses. DumboFeather is a quarterly magazine periodical, which is described by its publishers as a mook – half magazine, half book - becauseit is issued regularly like a magazine, but has the appearance of a book. Theformat of this magazine appeals to a green conscious, thoughtful and discerningdemographic. The publishers aim tomaintain a low footprint and are driven by passion, purpose and a sense ofcommunity. The matt, 100% recycledpaper stock and quality images printed with soy-based ink instead of chemicalssupport the intelligent content and satisfy the consumer’s expectation of aquality alternative publication. Printgraphics|Printgreen of Mount Waverley inVictoria produces Dumbo Feather using the sheet-fed printing method. Modern sheet-fed presses havesophisticated electronic controls for adjusting colour and register. This technology will often shortenset-up time and reduce printed waste, and in a competitive market, the resultis an economical product. Theprinting method chosen by the publishers gives them the quality they need andis balanced with the cost of the comparatively small production run. The company has a small number ofexecutives running the company. WhileOffset lithography can accommodate small boutique printings as well as largequality productions, web press printing is another type of offset printing thattakes production runs to another level. Web-fed printing refers to the useof rolls (or ‘webs’) of paper that are supplied to the printer. The machines can print at very highspeeds and use very large continuous sheets of paper. Press speeds can reach upto 50,000 impressions per hour and are ideal for high volume publications such as mass-market books,magazines, newspapers, catalogues and brochures. While the quality is good, thereis not the same wide range of boutique papers available for specialistjobs. These presses have theadvantage of speed and quick completion, and the larger the run the moreeconomical the publication becomes. This method of printing is used for popular magazines like Women’sWeekly, who has a mass target market where price is a consumerconsideration. Cheaper papers canbe used so that more content can be put into one magazine, making a thickerpublication with more pages appeal to a sense value in a mass market. Women’s Weekly is usually 240 pageslong and printed on thin glossy paper. Launched in 1933, the magazine has been in continuous production sincethen. Until the early 1980s it wasproduced weekly, but with rising costs it was decided to release the magazinemonthly in 1983. It has acirculation of around 530,000 and continues to be one of Australia’s mostpopular magazines. Economies of scale would suggest that web press printing is the mosteconomical production choice for a magazine that appeals to a mass market withthe overheads of a large production team. Web press printing is the best choice for the Women’s Weekly. http://trove.nla.gov.au/people/634568?c=people (telephone conversation)Nigel Quirk, Account Manager, Dumbo Feather, Printgraphics
Createa puzzle word-searchusing these printing terms:
Collect examplesof 6 different printed materialsand attach a description to each item that explains the main features of theprinting process used. Set them out in easy steps or diagrams / pictures andclearly show how the processes relate to your examples. 1. silk textile – digitally printed fabric
Designs for textiles to be printeddigitally can be prepared electronically using graphic design software much thesame as desktop publishing from computer to printer. With a digital fabric printer that uses inkjet technology,the textile is fed through the printer using rollers and ink is applied to thesurface in the form of thousands of tiny droplets. The fabric is finished using heat or steam to make the inkscolour fast. The inks used in digitalprinting are formulated specifically for each type of fibre – cotton, silk,linen, polyester, rayon etc.
2.carpet samples folder - offset lithography
Offset lithographyis the standard commercial printing method used today and forms the bulk ofmass printing production because of the high quality of printing and low costof individual sheets the higher the printing run. The paper covering this carpet sample book would have beenprinted on a cylinder and blanket offset printer, and calendared for extragloss. The artwork and text wouldhave been digitally transferred to a plate ready for the printer. The print and images on the plate wouldaccept the ink, and the white background would repel the ink because it wouldbe water absorbent and kept damp during the printing process. After printing the coated paper wouldneed to be die cut and laminated onto thicker cardboard as support backing. It would then be ready to be scored, thecarpet samples added and then folded ready for presentation. A sample book likethis would be given to carpet retailers to show to their customers and would benot be required to be printed in very high volumes. The finishing processes would be done on a flat bed diecutting machine, which is cheaper.
3. Madura tea package – Flexographicprinting
Flexography is themost common form of printing packaging and labels because this method canaccommodate a wide range of more flexible materials including foils andplastics like this tea bag package made from a foil material. Flexography is a rotary relief printingprocess where the raised flexible printing plate impresses ink onto the surfaceof the printed material from the pressure of rollers. The substrate to be printed is fed through a series ofinking stations where spot colour like this gold lettering can be added, andincludes other processes such as laminating.
4. Esso tiger (Japan 1960s) & speed sign (current)– silkscreen onmetal
Screen-printing isused commercially when the product has large areas of plain colour, is of alarge size and a large volume of product is not required. The overlap and mis-registration can beseen on the vintage Esso tiger. The recent Clarence City Council sign (done by Eye Spy Signs) would havehad screens made from accurate digital images.
5.plastic deodorant bottle – Flexographic pad printing
Padprinting is an indirect way of printing. By usingextremely elastic pads such as silicon, concave, convex, regular and irregularshaped objects can be printed. Thepad takes up the image from an etched printing plate and transfers it onto theobject. The processworks by silicon pads squishing into the object in order to apply the ink inthe appropriate places.
6.card – Thermographic printing
Thermographic printingis heat raised printing and is commonly usedon wedding invitations, business cards, greetings cards and can also be used toprint braille text. Thermography machines consist of three sectionsconnected by a through conveyor. The first section appliesthermographic/embossing powder to the substrate. The areas selected for raised printing are printed with slowdrying pigment inks that do not contain dryers or hardeners so that they remainwet during the application of powder. This ink is dried and hardened laterduring the heating process. The second sectionof the process is a vacuum system that removes excess powder from uninked areasof the substrate. The third sectionof the process conveys the product through a radiant oven where it is exposed totemperatures of 900 to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit. The powder melts, and the melted ink solidifies as theproduct cools.
In your own words, provide a brief definition of each ofthe words listed below. Analog proof: is a prepress proof that uses inkjet,toner, dyes, overlays, photographic film or other techniques to give a closeapproximation of what the finished piece will look like. Additive Colour: red, yellow & blue Artwork: is the complete master file thatincludes images, fonts and graphics from which proofs are made to produce theprinting plates. Ascender: is part of a letter that rises abovethe main type body such the tail of the letter “h”. Backing: part of the binding operation thatconsolidates the back of a book. Base art: before desktop publishing, base art wasthe first layer of art that was applied direct to the board. Beating: is a process of mashing the fibres ofpulp in papermaking to produce the desired quality of paper. Bleaching: a process in papermaking to whitencellulose fibres. Bleed: printing that is extended beyond theedge of a sheet or page that is to be trimmed. Body matter: is the main text of work not includingthe headlines Body size: is the depth of a type as distinct fromits face size Bromide: is photographic paper used for proofingand reproduction. Bulk: is the thickness of paper Calendering: is a finishing processat the end of a papermaking machine where paper is pressed between rollers toincrease the smoothness and gloss of the paper. Camera-ready copy: this is the final copy thatrequires no further work that the printer uses as the original for making aprinting plate. CMYK colour: is the system of primary printingcolours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) used popularly to process colourreproduction. K is used torepresent black because it is believed that ‘B’ would be confused with Cyan(blue). It is also thought that Kcould be and abbreviation for the Keycolour. Coated paper: is paper with a surface coating toproduce a smooth finish in either matt or gloss. Collate: to bring differentsections of work together in the right sequence. Colour bar: is a band of colourstrips that is placed at the sides of a print job for measuring colour densityand to ensure that the four colour plates are registered correctly. Compositor: is a tradesperson whospecialises in typesetting. Continuous tone: a photographic image that has not beendot screened. Crop marks: are marks at the edge of a photographor plate that indicated portions to be eliminated from the image. Cyan: is one of the primary colour processinks that reflects or transmits blue and green light and absorbs red light. Densitometer: is a photoelectric instrument, whichmeasures the density of photographic images or of colours, and is used incolour printing for quality control to determine the consistency of coloursthroughout a run. Descender: the part of the letter, which extendsbelow the main body of type such as the tail of “p”. Desktop publishing: is the process of using the computerand specific types of software to produce text and artwork to produce of documents that are properlyformatted for print, web, mobile devices, newsletter, brochures, books,business cards, letterhead, packaging, signage etc. Digesting: is part of the papermaking processwhere softwood chips are combined with chemicals to produce pulp for papermanufacture. Digital proof: a colour proof produced from digitaldata that does not require colour separations for printing. Digital electronicprinting: is a plateless method of printing thatuses desktop publishing and other digitalsources to print using laser or inkjet printers. Doctor Blade: a knife-edged blade used in gravurethat presses against the engraved printing cylinder to wipe excess ink fromnon-printing surfaces. Dot gain: in printing this is a normal occurencewhere dots print larger than original and cause darker tones. Dots per inch: is a measure of theresolution of a screen image or printed page. Dummy: is a sample of proposed work that isprepared before printing as a mock-up to assess the design and to estimate theproduction requirements. Duotone: is a term for atwo-colour halftone reproduced from a one-colour photograph. Dye-line: is a proof prepared photographically. Emboss: is a relief image that givesa raised printed surface Flexography: is a printing processthat prints from flexible rubber or plastic plates that use volatile inks thatare fast drying to enable a printer to print a variety of colours quickly andon many different surfaces. Flat-bed cutting: is a process of die cutting on a flatbed rather than a rotary press. Flatbed die cutting is not as fast as rotary cutting, but the tools arecheaper. Folding: is the process of creasing a page thatlater can be collated, bound into a book or document. Folio: the page number printed on the page(not the physical page number). Font: is the complete range of a designedtype of one size and face. Forme: Size, style, type, margins, printing requirements, etc. of any printed Fugitiveink: Ink (usually water soluble)used in security printing to combat forgery. Galley: Shallow metal tray used tohold type. GSM: Grams per Square Metre; astandard measure of the weight of paper. Gravure printing: is the opposite to reliefprinting. The image is etched onthe surface of a metal plate or cylinder so that the image to be printed is inthe depressions of the plate, which are then filled with ink. The plate is wiped clean, the paper ispressed against the inked plate and the image is transferred to the paper. Greyscale: The range of tones fromwhite to black, placed at the side of original copy during photography to measure the tonal range. Grippers: metal fingers that hold sheets of paper asit passes through a printing press. Guillotine: is a machine with a blade thatcuts flat sheets of paper. H&J: is oneof the more technical typographic terms, referring to the hyphenation andjustification settings used specifically to create and control justified type. Halftone: is the reproduction of continuous toneartwork, such as a photograph, with the image translated into dots of varioussizes. Hard copy: is the physical printed copy of a fileor document for visual checking and proof reading for correction of data. Hemp: the first book made on aprinting press, the Gutenburg Bible, was printed on hemp paper. 600 years later it is still in goodcondition. Today hemp is not produced in large quantities for papermaking. Wood pulp is still the dominantmaterial used for papermaking. Imposition: is the arranging of pages to ensure thecorrect order after the printed sheet is folded and trimmed. ISBN: International Standard Book NumberingSystem ISO: International Standards Organisation ISSN: International Standard Serial Number Justify: is to align the contents of a documentto the right and left of a column or page Kerning: in typography, the part of a letter,which overhangs the type body. Kerning involves closing up type where the letter shape results inuneven letter spacing. Leading: is the amount of space between lines oftype. Lithography printing: the principle of this printing methodis that water repels oil. Oilbased inks are applied to theprinted surface of a plate or cylinder, while the non printied surface is keptmoist with water. Paper and ablanket are placed onto the plate, pressure is applied and the inked area is transferred tothe paper. Logo: is the personalised type or designsymbol for a company or product. Mechanical fastening: in the printing industry, fastening is theprocess of attaching one part or item to another, such as when a printed labelis adhered to another. This is a method of joining or adheringtwo separate parts mechanically. Mock-up: in design, a mock-up is a scale orfull-size model of a design used for teaching, demonstration, designevaluation, promotion and other purposes. A mock-up is a prototype. Moire pattern: is the pattern caused byoverlaying conflicting screen angles OCR: Optical Character Recognition of typeby a scanner, which senses light reflected from the printed image and is able to identify each character. Offset: is a printing process in which theimage is transferred from plate to paper by means of a rubber-covered cylinder. Orphan: is the first line of a paragraph thatends up as the last line of a column or the last line of a paragraph that endsup as the firs line of a column. Outline fonts: in the screen-printing industry,outline font is a type of text that has characters that are defined by anoutline of the edges rather than a solid character. Also used in book printing, brochure and flyer printing. Over-printing: double printing – printing over an areathat has already been printed Pad printing: pad printing machines can print on 3Dand moulded objects. Pantone colour: The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is aregistered, standardised colour reproduction system used by designers andmanufacturers to ensure colours match using swatches without having to havedirect contact with clients. Mostof the Pantone’s 1,114 spot colours cannot be simulated with CMYK, but with 13base pigments (15 including white and black) mixed in specified amounts. It also allows for many special coloursto be produced such as metallics and fluorescents. Perfecting Press: is a printing press that prints on bothsides of the page in a single pass. Perfect binding: is a method of joining together pages,more often with a periodical or publication printing, and can be of a varietyof methods. Picking: is the lifting of the paper surface,and occurs when the ink tack exceeds the surface strength of the paper. Plate: is the printing surface. It is also tje name given to anillustration inset in a book. Plate setter: is a machine that processes and createsimages suitable for use on an offset printing press. Ream: A standard of quantity ofpaper meaning 20 quires or 500 sheets(formerly 480 sheets) Registermarks: are the crosses or marks on originalsthat act as a guide for printing to facilitate the perfect registration oroverlay of separate plates Reliefprinting: is a method that applies ink to a raisedsurface. Paper is placed onto theinked area. A print is taken after pressure is applied to the paper. Resolution: in digital imaging this is the means bywhich the printout quality is measured in the number of dots per inch. RGB colour: red, green, blue additive primarycolurs. Rotarycutting: is die cutting method using a rotarypress with customised dies that run over the turning surface. It is useful for high volume projectswith consistent cuts and produces little waste. It is a low tolerance, precision cutting method with fastturnaround times and is often done inline with printing. It is a more expensive method of diecutting than flat-bed cutting. Sanserif: a particular typeface without serifs. Scoring: compresses a line in asheet, particularly of thick or heavy stock, so that it will fold withoutcreasing or cracking. Screenruling: is a measurement equaling the number oflines or dots per inch on a halftone screen. Screenprinting: is a method of printing from stencilsthrough fine mesh or silk, metal or other material. The stencils can be photographic or cut by hand. Short grainpaper: Paper inwhich the grain direction is parallel to its shorter dimension Signature(print term): is the name given to a printed sheetafter it has been folded. It isalso the term for the sections of a book, which are gathered for binding. Slug Area: a slug area is an areathat is printed but does not appear on the final document as it is outside thetrim area. It is used to sendinstructions to the printer and contains file names, printer’s colour bars andtrim and register marks. Spot-varnishing: is a small area printed in a secondcolour. Stroke: refers to the line or lines forming acharacter of a typeface. Step-and-repeat: is a system of repeating an image on aplate by “stepping” it into position according to a predetermined layout. This method is used for multipleprinting of images on a sheet. Substrate: is a surface that can be printed on –paper, plastic, metal etc. Tack: is the property oftackiness or viscosity of ink that gives the correct cohesive qualities forvarious inks and substrates. Template: is a file that is pre-designed orformatted as a starting point for a new document or design. Thermalfastening: in the printing industry, fastening isthe process of attaching one part or item to another, such as when a printedlabel is adhered to another. Thermal binding is a process that attaches a one piece cover with a gluechannel down the spine. The paperto be bound is placed in the cover, heated in a machine, and when it cools downthe pages have adhered to the cover. Trapping: It is very difficult to get a perfectregister. Stencils/plates aredesigned to include trapping, which creates a small amount of ink spread tooverlap the previously printed area so that no mis-register lines appear. Trim marks: are the short horizontal and verticallines on each corner of a printed page to denote where the page is to betrimmed after printing. Typography: is the art and technique of arrangingtype design that are arranged into words, sentences, paragraphs and pages forvisual communication. Variablecosts: are those costs that are not fixed, butare relative to the costs of production. Watermark: is a name, logo or design impressedinto paper during manufacture. Web(printer): is a high speed printing press thatprints on continuous rolls of paper or other substrates, and are typically usedfor printing newspapers and magazines. Printing presses for flexographic printing used for packaging areusually web presses. Widow: is a singleword on a line that ends a paragraph, which is thought of as poor typography. Work-and-tumble: is a method of turning a sheet of paperto print the other side. Thesecond side is printed using another gripper edge. Work-and-turn: is the process ofprinting on one side of a sheet of paper; then the sheet of paper is turnedover from left to right. The same gripper is used for printing both sides. Wove: is the term applied topapers made on an ordinary web in which the wires are woven. X-height: is the height ofa lower case “x” in a font. GraphicDesign, Australian Style manual, Barnum, Haddock, Hicks & Oppen,McGraw-Hill 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bookbinding