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An Introduction to the production of


Rebecca Liggins


Monotones __________________________________________________________ Duotones __________________________________________________________ Spot colour __________________________________________________________

Lithography __________________________________________________________ Flexography __________________________________________________________ Digital Print __________________________________________________________ Screen Print __________________________________________________________

Sustainable Print __________________________________________________________ Eco Materials __________________________________________________________

Stock __________________________________________________________ Embossing __________________________________________________________ Spot Varnish __________________________________________________________ Foil Blocking __________________________________________________________

About the book __________________________________________________________ References __________________________________________________________

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Monotone A monotone image is that is made up from just one (mono) colour using tins and shadows of the colour (tone), yellow in this case, but it can be any colour. This dosn’t mean you will end up with one block colour image, if the curve is balanced you can still create a photographic image. This method is a great tenique for creating a certain feel to you design and is much cheaper to print as only using one plate.


Duotone A duotone image is similar to a monotone, except it is created using two colours. You also have to balance out the two colours against each other for a balanced image, if it isn’t balanced you will end up with a flooded colour. You can also use other muli-tone processes such as triotone, which is a three colout process, and quadratone which is four colour process.


Spot Colour S‌ pot colours are a set of mixed or pure colours for printing with and they are referenced by Pantone. Each different Pantone colour is made up of different amounts of C (cyan), M (magenta), Y (yellow) and K (black). They are used for accurecy when designing with colour, or if a client has specified a particualr colour, Pantone will ensure they are dealing with exactly the same colour.


Lithoography LItho (lithography) is the most common comercial print process that we use today, it works on the principle that ink and water dont mix. So an image is transfered onto a plate, then onto a rubber blanket that then transferes the image onto the stock, the plate never touches the stock. This process is used most becaue it is able to produce prints at a fast rate, which is great for big commercial runs such as magazines and catelogues, this would also make it a cheaper process, as the more prints you print the less you pay per sheet.


Flexography Flexo (flexography) is a direct printing method, as it is the print plate that transferes the image to the stock. It uses felxiable printing plates so that you can print on more flexiable materials such as plythene, plastic or labels and most commonly used for food packaging. Unlike Litho the images is slightly raised so that the print is of a very high qulity.


Digital Print Digital printing workes in a very similar way to our printers we use at home, but they are on a much bigger scale and much better quality. This process can be a cost effective way of printing a one off print or large scale limited editions, such as banners. There is less set up to be done and can be a quick way to produce proto-types or small runs.


Screen Print Screen printing is a process where ink is pushed thorugh a screen onto a stock. firstly the image is exposed onto a screen and so when pushing the ink through the ink can only pass through the un exposed areas (the image). Screen based prints are normaly limited edition posters. flyers or banners. this method is quite expensive and quite time consuming but produce crisp tactile prints, and it can be printed onto most stocks, paper, ceramics, plastics, metals and fabrics.


Sustainable Print Convential inks are petrolium based which can through printing waste or the landfil bread down, are produce harmful chemicals. Some printers are now using veritable based/ soy based inks to print with. These are much more enviromentally, can extend the life of the printer and now ccan produce as high quality as convential prints. There as also some print compansy that are now using energy efficient resources to run their printers, this will in the long run cut their costs of runninga print job.


Eco Materials


Under half of the UKs paper waste is recycled, but this is increaseing. Todays technology, recycled paper is as good quality as nonrecycled, you can even get tree-free papers. More companys are now using recycled materials even if your not looking for that organic look, their are now papers that look as professional, clean and crisp as any other you can find. Another way to cut waste is design to standard paper sizes, A4, A3, but this is not always possible. However now a days there is little excuse for not using these processes.


Stock is what we choose to have our designs printed onto, weather its paper fabric, card or plastcs, this will depend on the budget and what tone you want your design to have. also when considering stock you must look at the gsm, the grain and coated or un-coated papers. each differet stock will give a different finish, e.g. un-coated paper will absorbe the ink more and give a softer look to coated paper where the ink sits on top and is very crisp. Remeber that the stock could change aspects of your print, eg colour and qualuty.




Embossing is the process of imprinting a design onto paper or other stocks. either by using dampened paper or heat presses the impresion is pused through and raises the paper to produce a crisp clean imprint. the thicker the paper use the better quality imprint will be produces but using adesign mroe than 3mm thick could end up ripping the paper. Debossing is very simliare except you indent the design to prodyce an indedted design, this is still as tactile as embossing but sometimes a better quality.

Spot Varnish A spot varnish is a technique added at the end of a print and is used to enhance a certain are of a design. it really makes a section stand out and look very professional, it is used very sucessfully on text and areas of imagery. its used by adding a clear varnish to the image which gives a crisp and enhaced visual look aswell as protecting it from any wear.


Foil Blocking Foil bloacking is a technique where a coloured piece of foil is transfered onto an image using a heat press, the heat melts the glued design that has been applyed and then sticks to the foil, producing a foiled image. This again works well on texts and title and more thinner detailed designs.


About the book

I hope this book gives you the basic knowledge to start thinking about the production of print and understand that its not just a process we use at home printing of those family photos. As a desiger you have to understand how the whole process can effect your design and the requirments of your client. Start looking at everything, magazines, leaflets, packaging and just question how it was printed and why. And Enjoy.


Ambrose / Harris, ‘The Production Manual- a graphic design handbook’ Ava publishing, 2008 ____________________ Ambrise / Harris, ‘Basic Design: Print and Finish’, Ava publishing, 2006 ____________________ Hampshire / Stephenson, Choosing and Using Paper, for great graphic design’ Rotovision, 2007 ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________


For More


‘An intoduction to the production of PRINT’

___________________________________________ Want to know what print production is? Never heard of ___________________________________________ Lithography, spot colour and block foils?

This book will intorduce ___________________________________________ you to these terms and others that will help your ___________________________________________ understanding of what ___________________________________________ print is all about. ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________

This book is printed on 100% post consumer waste, using vegitable beased inks. Brought to you by Bequa Productions

An Introduction to the production of print  

This is an introduction to the processes and terminology for print, to help designers understand the basics of print.

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