What Are The Basics Of Commercial Printing?

August 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Advertising 

Do you know what commercial printing is? Would you care to know about what a commercial printer and what a commercial printing company actually does?

You may have never heard about these terms before, especially if you are just concerned with the paper you read every day and the glossy magazine you subscribe to monthly. While the terms above may sound foreign, these are actually related to everything printed around your house or office. Yes, you are surrounded with printed materials. It starts with your morning paper, continues with the receipts you encounter, the packaging of foodstuff at the grocery, the labels on your toiletries, and ends with the book that you read at night.

So now that the introduction got you interested, what in essence is commercial printing? Well, it is the process of transferring a piece of artwork or a sheet of text or pretty much everything else onto another material. The other material could be paper and other flat materials like wood, board, or even metal. Additionally, more printers can now print on corrugated boards and metals as well as textured wood.

The most common service that you can find in many commercial printing companies is the offset printing. The offset press machine transfers four colors, namely, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, from the main layout to the material where it is supposed to be reproduced. This system employs a color separator that creates four negatives for the four different colors. These negatives are transferred onto an aluminum plate and these plates are loaded in the offset machine, along with the ink and paper. After some adjustments, it will then just run the paper and the images will already be printed on it. Modern machines are also responsible for cutting the paper after printing into cut sizes ready for binding or other finishing procedures.

While the CMYK printing is fairly simple in that it just divides any image into the four colors, it still used until now. The only difference perhaps is that now, the newer methods are faster, more convenient, and can turn out sharper images. Kudos to the inventor of CMYK printing! After all the pages have been run, these are then passed on to the finishing department that will in turn handle all the finishing requirements of the client, such as, but not limited to collating, binding, laminating, stamping, or die-cutting. Another team handles these processes. After all these have been done, the materials are then packed either for local delivery or for shipping. When the prints need to be shipped, they are packed differently in order to protect them from damages while in transit.

The process of commercial printing is just complicated in the sense that many machines and people are involved in the operations – starting from when a client walks in and asks for a printing job quote. A commercial printing company does not only insure that its commercial printer unit is well oiled and working efficiently, the entire operations should work hand in hand in order to make things work efficiently. The client does not know the technicalities and politics behind the company of a commercial printer. All they are concerned about is the finished material. The truth is that it takes so much work in order that printed materials can get into our hands.

Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of the developments in commercial printing technologies by commercial printers that help businesses in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

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