What is etching? Etching is a form of printing that along with engraving comes under the
category of Intaglio. Images printed (etchings) by this process are the result of ink being forced
out of the incised lines in a zinc or copper plate using a heavy press. This results in slightly
raised ink on the paper and a characteristic plate mark showing the edges of the plate.
What is linocut? Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of
linoleum (sometimes mounted on a wooden block) is used for the relief surface. A design is cut
into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved)
areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. The linoleum sheet is
inked with a roller (called a brayer), and then impressed onto paper or fabric. The actual printing
can be done by hand or with a press.
What is lithography? Lithography refers to a lithograph print that is made from an image which
has been applied to a flat surface. Traditionally this flat surface was a specially prepared lime
stone, but today grained aluminium-printing plates and the original stones are used. The process
is based on the fact that oil repels water. An image is drawn, painted or photographically applied
the stone or plate using a greasy medium. The image will repel water and accept ink.
Lithographic inks are oil based.
What is letterpress? Letterpress printing is relief printing of text and image using a press with a
"type-high bed" printing press and movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and
then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image. It was the normal
form of printing text from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century until the
19th century and remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th
century. In addition to the direct impression of inked movable type onto paper or another
receptive surface, letterpress is also the direct impression of inked printmaking blocks such as
photo-etched zinc "cuts" (plates), linoleum blocks, wood engravings, etc., using such a press.
What is gravure? Gravure is a printing method in which an image is applied to a printing
substrate by use of a metal plate mounted on a cylinder. Unlike other processes, gravure uses a
depressed or sunken surface for the desired image. The image to be reproduced is etched into
the metal plate, sometimes with the use of a laser . The metal plate is bathed in ink during the
process and then wiped clean before application to the substrate. While gravure printing can
produce high-quality results rapidly, the costs are significantly higher than other printing methods,
including flexography or various forms of digital printing.
What is screen process? Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to
support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink
or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image
onto a substrate. A roller or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink
past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas. Screen printing is also a stencil method of
print making in which a design is imposed on a screen of silk or other fine mesh, with blank areas
coated with an impermeable substance, and ink is forced through the mesh onto the printing
surface. It is also known as silkscreen, serigraphy, and serigraph printing.
What is photocopying? A photocopier (also known as a copier or copy machine) is a machine
that makes paper copies of documents and other visual images quickly and cheaply. Most
current photocopiers use a technology called xerography, a dry process using heat. (Copiers can
also use other technologies such as ink jet, but xerography is standard for office copying.)
What is laser printing? A type of printer that utilizes a laser beam to produce an image on a
drum. The light of the laser alters the electrical charge on the drum wherever it hits. The drum is
then rolled through a reservoir of toner, which is picked up by the charged portions of the drum.
Finally, the toner is transferred to the paper through a combination of heat and pressure. This is
also the way copy machines work.
What is desktop publishing? Using a personal computer or workstation to produce high-quality
printed documents. A desktop publishing system allows you to use different typefaces, specify
various margins and justifications, and embed illustrations and graphs directly into the text. The
most powerful desktop publishing systems enable you to create illustrations, while less powerful
systems let you insert illustrations created by other programs.