Poster Printing Techniques

Screen print

Also known as silk-screen, screen, serigraphy or serigraph printing. A stencil method of print making using mesh, which allows ink to be transferred onto paper except in areas blocked by the stencil. One color is printed at a time, so several screens can be layered to produce a multicolored design.

Offset

Inked image is transferred, or offset, from a plate onto a rubber sheet, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process - a repulsion of oil and water - the offset technique employs a flat image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a water-based film (fountain solution), keeping the non-printing areas ink-free.

Photocopy

(same as laserprint)

Laserprint

Electrostatic digital printing process. Produces high quality text and graphics (and moderate quality photographs) by repeatedly passing a laser beam back and forth over a negatively charged cylinder (or drum) to define an image. The drum selectively collects electrically charged powdered ink (toner) and transfers the image to paper, which is heated to permanently fuse the image onto the paper.

Woodpanel (woodblock or linoblock printing)

A relief pattern is carved into the block with a knife, chisel, sandpaper, or carving tools, cutting away ‘white’ areas to leave a design or pattern. Ink is applied to the block, followed by evenly distributed contact with paper or cloth to achieve a print. The art of carving the woodcut is known as xylography, though it’s uncommon to hear this term these days. Layered designs can be achieved by using different colors, cutting away different parts of the design and re-inking and printing.

Etching

The process of using a strong acid of mordant to cut into unprotected parts of a metal surface, creating a design in intaglio (incised) in the metal. Generally made by covering a metal plate with a waxy, acid resistant ground. The artist then scratches their design into the ground with a pointed etching needle. Acid is then washed over the plate, etching a design into the scratched and unprotected areas of the plate. The wax is then washed off and the plate inked, sinking only into the acid bitten lines.

Litho

Modern lithography involves the image is made of a polymer coating applied to a flexible metal or plastic plate. The image can be printed directly from the plate (with the orientation of the image being reversed), or it can be offset by transferring onto a flexible (rubber) sheet for printing and publication. Different to intaglio printing, where a plate is either engraved or etched, or stippled to score cavities to contain printable ink.

Solid ink print

Digital printing that uses solid ink sticks instead of fluid ink or toner powders used in printers. Afte rthe solid ink is loaded into the printing device, it is melted and used to produce images on paper in a process similar to offset printing. Xerox claims that this method of printing produces more vibrant colors than other methods, is easier to use, can print on a wide range of media and is more environmentally friendly due to reduced waste output.

Dot matrix

Sometimes known as impact matrix printing, this is a type of computer printing which uses a print head that moves back and forth or up and down, striking an inked ribbon against the paper, much like a typewriter. Letters a drawn out of a dot matrix, and varied fonts and arbitrary graphics can be produced.

Inkjet

Digital printing which propels droplets of ink onto paper, plastic or other substrates.The most commonly used type of commercial and domestic printer.