Printing is a method for mass printing of texts and images with a printing press or a computer printer. The first non-aque printing products involving printing presses were objects like the cylinders seals and antique-styled objects like the Cylinders of Nabonidsus and the Persian cylinder seals. Later, various printing press inventories emerged, which included metal presses, plate-fed presses, desktop presses and automated printing equipment. Today, there are numerous printing technologies, which facilitate the printing of posters, books, business cards, letterheads, envelopes, labels, flyers, magazines, banners, billboards, calendars, posters, computer printing, desktop publishing and photographic printing.
The first commercial printing process used in printing commercial printing products was the offset printing press, which paved the way to the growth of lithography. Lithography is an art of printing by use of a printing press that involves pressing sheets, or plates, which are moved or set on the ink-sensitive printing paper. There are various methods of using the printing press to transfer the images or text to the paper. In order to get the best quality of printed image, one has to use special techniques in offset printing. Among the different techniques used in lithography, the most commonly used is the flexography, which entails transferring printed images or written material by use of a fixed head that is rotary or sliding.
Another common technique used in printing presses is the MFP (Metal Copy) system, which uses metal copies of printed material by use of an offset lithography machine. This system is suitable for low-volume production of large quantities of printed materials. Another popular method of producing high-quality printed materials is the screen printing system. This technology involves the printing of materials by use of a screen.
The prime benefit of using digital printing in printing presses is that it produces flat, smooth images. Moreover, this kind of printing system is also called as digital photography because it incorporates some of the characteristics of digital photography such as, fast running time, good clarity and excellent color quality. The biggest advantage of using this technique is that it offers infinite printing capabilities, as well as very little space usage. Digital printing can be achieved in three ways: offset printing, digital printing and manual printing. In short, the offset printing process makes use of heavy equipment and it is suitable for mass printings.
Offset printing process is suitable for large volumes of printed materials. It is capable of producing top quality prints that may be made into the final products of different kinds. The digital printing process used in these presses is known as the offset lithography process. The main advantage of using this technique is that it provides prints with sharp, clean images and accurate colors.
There was a time when the printing press was developed as a simple tool and it involved ink-sticking or transferring of an ink ribbon from a liquid medium to the surface of the paper. This method was actually used for preparing a wide range of textiles such as quilts and linens. These textiles were produced by using the pressed paper and various other materials that contain silica, such as clay, sandstone, gypsum and various minerals. The printing process of these printed textiles was called eked, which means “ked” in German and “tackled” in English.
For the next several decades, until the First World War, the printing press continued to be used to produce large quantities of textiles at a relatively low cost. During this period, the development of the printing press led to the development of various new types of plates. The plate types included flexographic, solid ink and embossing. By using various kinds of inks, early printing presses allowed the production of many unique designs.
The development of printing presses for lithography resulted in the development of the earliest printing presses, which were used for producing fine art prints. These prints were made on textured wood slates, called the cylinder and these first books were the forerunners of many classic novels and art prints that are still viewed in homes all over the world. Around this time, printing became more widely available to the public and printing booklets was no longer the exclusive preserve of the clergy and elite members of society. This new technology paved the way for mass printing and eventually led to the rise of the printing press as a commercial business for profit.