Color It Right
Artists use color in many different ways. The colors that we see are light waves reflected or absorbed by everything around us. In nature, a rainbow is actually a white light that is broken apart by the moisture in the air.
The nineteenth century was the turning point for the development of color illustration. At the start of the century, books with colored plates were hand colored by the artist using techniques that dates back to the Renaissance. A hundred years later, the steam driven printing press and the photo reproductive techniques took printing out of the hands of the artist and introduced processes which would be used until the computer revolution of today.
Today’s color printing uses new technologies and techniques such as digital lithography. Color printing today is generally handled using offset lithography. This printing process coats a rubber drum with the color and water necessary to produce the image. The image is then transferred to the offset drum. From the offset drum the image is transferred to the paper or other printable medium. This process makes it possible to transfer color photographs easily.
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As technology continues to develop, new printing techniques will eventually overtake offset printing as the number one printing option. Offset printing is the least expensive at this point but manufacturers of digital printing are trying to catch up.
Keep in mind that the right printing technique for any business is one that delivers a superior output, time after time, with no breakdown in quality. Traditional full color printing involves higher set up costs, thus, excluding small quantity jobs from full color. The increased set up costs also creates large outdated inventories of previously printed materials produced in large amounts to justify the costs of full color. But that is in the past. Digital color printing is fast gaining with offset printing.
Digital printing is one the best kept secrets of the printing industry. Using this technology, you can print full-color materials with high resolution images and crisp text in very short runs on demand. There are two types of digital printing in color. The first one is purely electronic. This method uses no plates and toner based ink on true digital presses. The second type is called direct image printing or DI printing. This method uses conventional ink and plates to print runs as low as 250 to 500.
Whether you use pure or DI printing, you can now afford to print in color. Printing in color has been much affordable these days. So, jazz up your advertising materials with color and images. Don’t be afraid to print your text in red, tangerine or deep green and throw in a few pictures.