Understanding Types of Printing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 43,649
    Paper expert Sarah Meyer Walsh demonstrates how to make your own wedding invitations and paperie, including the different types of printing.

    Sarah Meyer Walsh: Hi! I am Sarah Meyer Walsh of Haute Papier and I am showing you how to make wedding invitation. Before we get too far, I want to talk a little bit about the four different types of printing. Now, while there are many more than four types, these are by far the most popular and easily accessible to the average person. First, there is offset or flex printing. This is achieved by cylinders transferring an ink to a paper. It is flat in nature, if you touch it none of the ink is raised, it's the least expensive option and this is similar to the result you would get with your printer at home.

    Next is engraving. Engraving is by far the most formal means of printing and it's achieved when a copperplate is edged in reverse with the pattern that is desired to be printed, then an ink is applied and it is put through a press with the paper. The result is type that is raised and a bruising is created on the reverse of the paper. You can usually feel or see if you clip the paper at an angle of this bruising and that's how you can tell the difference between engraving and thermography, which is our next type of printing.

    Thermography is very similar in nature to the engraving. The main difference is that it is much less expensive, about half the price and it's more glossy in nature. Thermography occurs when an ink is applied to the paper, then a powder is applied on top of the ink and a heating device is used to melt the ink onto the paper. So again you get the raised affect of the engraving at a much lower cost and finally, print letterpress.

    Letterpress is stylistically the opposite of engraving and thermography. It is achieved when a plate is created, then ink is applied and the plate is pushed into the paper, creating an impression. Letterpress is the oldest type of printing and about the same in price as engraving.

    Next, we will talk about some basic wedding papery etiquette.