Selecting The Right Printer For The Job

You are mistaken if you believe that you can use the inkjet or laser printer of your office to print logos, flyers, and other graphics, because it will work out too costly, especially if you plan to print the flyers or graphics in large numbers. You have several options before you that include silkscreen printing, digital printing, and offset printing. You can find out more details about these machines on the websites of printer manufacturers. The main point you have to keep in mind is the quantity. If you plan to print logos on pre-existing letterheads and visiting cards, then silkscreen printing is the best option for you, so long as the print count does not exceed a thousand runs.

Silkscreen printing

In this process, the printer creates a stencil on a piece of porous cloth by applying a light-sensitive chemical to the cloth, applying the negative over it, and then exposing it to sunlight or high powered halogen lamps. It creates a change in the chemicals on the cloth. Following this, the printer washes the cloth to remove the extra chemical and applies an ink proof coating to the remainder of the cloth. The printer then stretches the cloth over a special frame, containing a hinge that allows it to move upwards and downwards. A piece of paper is placed on the bottom portion of the "L" shaped frame, and the top portion of the frame containing the stencil is moved down so that the cloth comes in contact with the paper. The next step lies in pouring special ink on the surface of the cloth and pulling it from one end to the other with the help of a squeeze. It causes the ink to pass through the uncovered portions of the cloth and make an impression on the paper.

Digital printer

One can also use the digital printer to print short to medium runs of prints of brochures, flyers, and other graphics. In this system, the machine operator copies a digital image of the brochure or flyer onto his computer. He then arranges the same to make multiple images of the same flyer or brochure on a single sheet of A3 or A0 paper. He also inserts cutting guidelines that will help his assistant to cut the bunch of papers using a cutting machine. This process is best suited for short runs, as it proves expensive to print tens of thousands of copies of brochures using this method. You can opt for this method if you need a print run of a hundred copies or so. If you want to print several thousand or even more copies, then your best bet is offset printing.

Offset printing

The printer first arranges several copies of the brochure (he can use the help of a digital printer for this process) and then uses a camera to take a negative of the entire layout. He then places this negative on a light-sensitive aluminium plate and subjects it to bright sunlight or halogen lamps. It results in the formation of an etching of the image on the plate. After this, he cleans the plate with a special chemical to remove traces of the light-sensitive chemical. He then mounts the plate on the offset press and uses it to make as many copies of the flyers as required. Remember, most offset printers can print four colours in one go.