The most common printing techniques

Hello again, here we go with another great article very complete on printing techniques that we hope you like.

This is usually common when we decide to advertise patterns, regardless of the support, paper, fabric, hard materials, etc. We do not know the different ways in which the impression can be created.

Choosing the most appropriate process in each case can help you a lot to optimize the cost of your advertising.

That is why today we want to give you a brief description of the frequency and comfort of use of the printing techniques in each case.

Offset, one of the most common printing techniques

Offset printing (indirect, in English) is used to reproduce texts and images on paper or other materials.

It is so named because it uses aluminum or zinc plates that are passed through a roll of rubber before printing the paper. This process involves preparing a plate for each of the four colors: yellow, magenta, cyan, and black. By mixing these colors a wide color gamut is achieved.

Offset printing remains one of the most common methods for printing publications on a large scale today, due to its print quality and finish. In large runs, the cost of a printed document is less than in any other system.


Another technique widely used in advertising is serigraphy. It consists of transferring ink through a mesh stretched on the frame. This is what we call screens. The passage of the ink is blocked in areas where there will be no image using emulsion or varnish and leaves the area where we want the ink to pass free.

In this case the ink is not mixed, each color is applied separately. It will be necessary to prepare as many dishes as there are colors in the box. Logically this will affect the price, printing in one color will be much cheaper than in two or more colors.

It is used to restore flat and subject drawings, without patterns or shadows.

It can be of two forms depending on the printing surface: flat or cylindrical.
Flat prints range from small formats, to billboards, posters, etc. The cylinder is used to decorate containers, bottles, cans, etc.

Because the process is almost artistic, the fixed costs are not particularly high, making this system well suited for small to medium runs. In addition, the inks used in screen printing are very durable which makes them very suitable for outdoor advertising.

Digital, another of the most common printing techniques

Digital printing is a process that consists of printing a digital file directly on paper, created from electronic design or desktop publishing software.

The image is projected by laser onto a printing drum in which the printing pigment is deposited; The pigment is then applied and fixed on the paper under pressure and heat.

The advantages of this method are speed and the ability to print short runs.

Digital printing is a revolution in the world of advertising because it allows you to personalize advertising media. Text or image changes do not involve costly plate changes, making it much easier to tailor the message to different types of customers.

The technology used in this printing system is innovative and therefore expensive. But being so versatile and allowing such specific communication, the profitability of advertising is higher and, therefore, more profitable.


From the 15th to the 20th century, letterpress was a proprietary technique used for mass printing.

Letterpress printing uses metal or plastic printing surfaces and dense, viscous inks.

Flexographic printing

It is a technology that dates back to 1890, although they did not recognize the name until 1952.

The aniline colored liquid ink is diluted in alcohol, the process is carried out using a flexographic plate, very suitable for printing on non-porous surfaces. Today, it is still used primarily for packaging and packaging printing.

Rubber is still the most widely used printing plate material, used to create multiple copies of an image on a single printing cylinder.

Electrophotographic printing

The surface of the “laser printer” has a photoconductive substance (cadmium or selenium) that acts as an insulator providing static electricity in the dark.

By means of a laser beam, surface areas in the chamber are illuminated, these areas become conductive and lose their charge. Charge-holding particles are attracted to the toner and the image is printed on paper or plastic.

The image quality of these prints is very high, but the process is too slow for large prints. Also known as digital printing. You can also read our article “Difference between compensation and number”


It is a direct printing system that uses a rotating cylinder. Unlike flexography, the area to be printed appears in low relief, that is, the area that contains ink. Each wheel has its own color, and when it cuts across the surface, it puts pressure on the media to make it print.

You now have a better understanding of the different industrial printing technologies used, some of which are widely used today, depending on the type of work to be done, while others are less widely used.

The digital transformation does suppose a change in the system and opens up multiple possibilities for different sectors in the production process, be they packaging, fabrics, wood, glass or any other type of support.

Microcapsule printing

This technique uses a paper that is impregnated with billions of microcapsules of liquid dye.

From the original image reflected by the light, the paper is exposed, causing the colorants in the capsules to harden according to the intensity of the light they receive.

With a steel roller, the exposed paper is pressed against the backing paper to form an image with the uncured colorant.

The quality of color reproduction obtained in a small quantity is very high.

We hope you have learned a lot about the most relevant and common printing techniques.

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