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The History of Commercial Printing

By Spalding Scattergood

Printing is a method or a method of transferring photographs or text on to a bit of paper. Poster advertisements, brochures, mailers etc. Are a few examples of commercial printing materials. Commercial printing enables reproduction of pictures in large amounts.

Evolution of Commercial Printing. Woodblock printing was one of the first types of printing and was first utilized in China. This technique of printing text and photographs was largely used in East Asia. The Woodblock printing method, which was first used on textiles, was employed on paper only by the ninth century in China. It later spread quickly to Japan and Korea. This printing methodology was seen in Europe around the fourth century. Block printing, which was mainly used for spiritual purposes was also developed between the ninth and the tenth century in Arabic Egypt. During the mid-fifteen century, portable type printing system, which was a less expensive alternative choice to block printing, was developed in Europe. Conveyable type printing system employed mobile metal type pieces, which made the printing process flexible. Bi Sheng first created the movable type printing system in China from porcelain. The Koreans used copper to make the portable type printing system in 1230. Johannes Gutenberg introduced this printing system around 1450 in Europe and successfully developed the cast metal for it. William Caxton introduced the printing process in England around 1476, which was later introduced by the English in the North American colonies.

Printing Methods. There are several printing techniques however; Letterpress, Flexography, Gravure and Offset lithography are the four crucial techniques of commercial printing. Letterpress printing system was developed in China to print labels and newspapers. This strategy is continuously fading away due to its average printing quality. Flexography was introduced in 1900s and is now principally used on non-absorbent stock, plastic food packing, newspapers, pressure sensitive labels etc. Gravure is used to print mags, packaging, wallpapers for example. Due to its configuration, it can print long runs quite easily. Postage stamps and cash are also published utilising the Gravure printing method. Offset Lithography is one of most extensively used printing techniques today and is principally used to print direct mail, business forms, mags, etc.

Commercial Printing Process. The printing process has stayed unvaried for ages. Several commercial printing firms use the offset printing strategy to transfer 4 separate colours on to the paper to reproduce one last colored image. This process is sometimes known as CMYK and it stands for Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black. Determining the correct water and ink level is critical in commercial printing. The aluminium plates created for every one of the 4 colors from the artwork establishes the quantity of ink the paper can absorb. The image is then imprinted on to the paper by the rollers one at a time.

New Developments in Commercial Printing. The printers employed in commercial printing have developed over the years. Commercial printing with assistance from advanced technology has become even quicker and convenient. The printers are now attached to PCs and therefore the photographs reproduced are sharper and of high quality. With the development in software and graphic planning material reproduce through printing, look virtually real. Commercial printing allows companies to print ad materials from local printers instead of ad agencies making advertisement cheap. A few developments have also been made in the finishing of the printing such as laminating leaflets, getting letterhead embossed for example. With a good range of options, commercial printing has actually come a long way.

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