Since the people started printing, there has always been different ways to do so. One of the earliest forms comes from China, where they used woodblock painting even before220 A.D. There has been some other ways such as moveable type, but it wasn't until 15th century that the use of the printing press has begun. Since then, many new types of this process have been invented. Especially now, when technology is constantly evolving, there are new ways of printing. Printing is now done of paper, but it is also quite frequent to paint in metals, plastics, cloth etc. Be sure to check out the following list of some of the most used ways of printing today.
There is a reason why this type is first in this list. This is the most frequent and the most cost-effective way of printing today. A big majority of companies that deal with printing use exactly this way to do so. Not only that this is a cheap way of printing but the offset printing is also one of the quickest options for this. Printing is done by the use of lithographic process which is based on oil and water, together with the ink rollers which apply texts or images. Printing is done continuously by the large press machine through which the paper is fed and the ink is applied.
While the offset printing is used by large companies, inkjet is one of the best household solutions. This is of course, designed for small print runs and not for printing any big numbers of copies. Inkjet printers are not expensive and it is quite useful to have one. The printer is connected to the computer and the printing is done physically as the ink is sprayed on the paper. Ink cartridges have to be refilled constantly as the ink is sprayed from them. If you want to reduce the costs of printer maintenance, you can learn how to refill cartridges by yourself.
Opposing to the inkjet printing there is this type. There is no ink that is sprayed on the paper but in digital printing, toner is used. This way of printing is constantly evolving but there is still a discussion whether it can match the quality of offset lithography. It is argued that the small details and color-matching are still much better when printing is done by the ink rollers. There is no need for replacing printing plates and this is the biggest advantage of this way of printing. This results in a quicker and less expensive printing.
Since we have covered some of the quickest and less expansive ways of printing it is time to mention engraving. This process requires much effort and time and is also quite expensive. But it also offers crisp images and such colors that cannot appear in any other type of printing. It is not used for everyday printing but rather for some special occasions. It is for example, used for invitations to some special events or for business cards of a person on a high position in a big company. The image is first carefully engraved on a metal plate, and the engraved work is then filled with the ink. Finally, the paper is pressed to it and the printing is done.
Silkscreen or screen printing is the type of printing that is mostly used for t-shirts and some other promotional materials. The design is placed on a screen and the image is then transferred by photo emulsion and exposure to light. The screen was originally made out of silk but now there are many materials which are used.
All of these types of printing process are used today and the choice between them should be made according to what you need. If you are deciding between all of these types you might want to consider some of them which are quicker and less expensive if you intend to print many copies. Still, these may offer less quality than some other types and are a great option if the quality is not that important. On the other hand, if it is a special occasion and you want printing to be done at its best, you'll want to choose some more expensive type of printing and get exactly the quality you need.