Printing is a form of visual communication, where an image is created on one surface and transferred to another. This can be done directly or indirectly. The process involves the use of a printing press or plate and paper. Many things are printed, including T-shirts on the backs of people, labels on products, and posters on walls.
In the 15th century, printing was a very popular method of producing books. It was thought that this method would strengthen the monarchy, and it also made religious texts more accessible. A few important early forms of printing were woodcut and lithography. Woodcut printing was first used for printing pictures on paper in Europe, and later it was applied to objects such as playing cards. Lithography, or lithography, comes from Greek, which means ‘drawing on stone’.
While there are many forms of printing, the most common ones work by heat and static electricity. Most commonly, they produce a high-contrast, small-dot image. Dots range in size from 24 to 120 per centimeter, and they appear light or dark depending on their size.
Some other forms of printing include photogravure and relief. Both methods produce very high quality prints, and are used for large volumes of print jobs. Photogravure produces a very clear image on a metal plate, while relief uses raised parts of a printing block to transfer ink to the paper. Planographic is a variant of relief, but has the advantage of a continuous image on the same plane as the non-image areas.
Intaglio is a type of printing that is usually used for more expensive documents. Unlike relief, which has a plane surface, intaglio has a well or etching that is either at or below the surface. These are sometimes called a screen, planographic, or a monotype.
Other popular forms of printing include offset and gravure. Offset is a form of indirect printing that uses a line drawing to create a zinc printing plate. After the plate is produced, the image is then transferred to a rubber blanket. Often, the paper is then photographed onto the printing plate. Afterwards, the ink is wiped off. Gravure is an intaglio process that uses a copper plate etched with the image. Traditionally, the printing surface was a block of stone, but these days the printing surface is more often a metal plate.
Another type of printing is thermal printing. During the 1990s, this technique was popular for faxes, airline baggage tags, and individual price labels in supermarket deli counters. When the image is viewed in full, the ink and powder appear to be fused together, making the print look like an engraved design.
A third type of printing is known as typography. Typography refers to the art of creating characters for printing, and is a business that can be undertaken by artists, writers, and publishers. Normally, a publisher is responsible for editing, design, marketing, and sales. If an author wishes to publish his or her own work, it can be printed using a photocopier.