Print Process Lecture

We were given a print process lecture by Ian which gave us an insight into the different elements of printing that we need to be aware off as designers. The lecture was split into three sections Colour Management/Specification, commercial printing process and Printing finishing techniques.

Colour Management/Specifications

In this section of the lecture we learnt about RGB, CMYK, Spot colour and Tints. I had a basic understanding about this as I had done this during my GCSE/A Levels but it was good to have a refresher about it. However, I did learn about Printing standards and screen calibration. Learning about setting my programmes to the correct standards for printing is really important because it allows me to make sure that I am using the industry standard printing settings.

Spot colour was one of the elements of the lecture that I hadn’t learnt about before and I found it very interesting to listen too. Spot colour refers to printing using only two colours, and is often used to make printing more affordable. Unlike CMYK which used different inks overlapped to create the colours, spot colour used the Pantone colours. Pantone colours are inks that are specifically mixed together by the printer rather than overlaying the inks.

Commercial Printing Processes 

This section of the lecture also contained information that I had previous knowledge of but it was also interesting to refresh my knowledge and develop my knowledge. In this section we learnt about different printing techniques such as offset lithography, digital and gravure. One thing that I didn’t know before was that there were two categories when it comes to printing. First called Conventional with master (using plates) which includes Flexo, Gravure, screen and Lithography. The second is called non – impact masterless which includes digital printing techniques.

The difference between conventional with a master and non-impact masterless is that conventional uses plates to print so the ink is going onto a physical object where as non impact doesn’t use any plates.

Finishing Techniques

Again, this was something that I had learnt about during my education but I think that I learnt how important that it is to maybe keep some samples of finishing techniques that I can refer to in the future. Finishing techniques will increase the price of the outcome so considering the budget of client is important before using any finishing technique. Different techniques communicate different ideas about a product for example, having embossing on a whiskey bottle makes the product seem more grand and expensive, you wouldn’t see this kind of finishing technique on you standard orange carton.

Overall I thought that the lecture was really useful as it gave me a refresher on my previous knowledge and in some cases expanding on my knowledge. I think that I will start to collect different  pieces of print to inspire me and help me if I need in the future.


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