Needing a printing service within Singapore has become more common, and with demand at a universal high water mark, it shouldn’t be hard to find one. It’s important to find out what kinds of services are on offer before you contact one however, so you can prepare. Reproducing text and images is essentially what makes up the entirety of the printing business, but that’s not all that comprises printing.
Digital image processing is what is referred to as digital printing. This is everything from reproducing the image on paper to putting it on plastic, cloth, film, or photographic surfaces. Digital printing differs in many ways to traditional lithographic printing.
There is no need to reuse the same impression from an individual plate set, as all impressions made on the surface can be completely unique. Instead, this is treated as a new layer of the image.
Digital printing doesn’t waste as much physical material as normal printing because all errors can be resolved on a computer screen. This reduces the amount of paper and ink involved, this in turn means digital printing is perfect for prototypes.
Digital printing is rapidly gaining popularity in Singapore, even though it’s a relatively new medium, due to the fact that with digital printing you can transfer text and graphics from PC to press, eliminating the need for plates and typesetting. This is especially effective for quick short run type jobs that require quick turnarounds.
Printing methods that involve a raised or 3D image set on paper is referred to as emboss printing. Companies offer two different methods for emboss printing, heated and dry embossing. Heat embossing is comprised of a heat source and special ink, whereas dry embossing is done with a stylus, stencil or other such implement. Heat embossing is a procedure that makes an indentation or the opposite of (de-embossing) to create the effect.
This process can be used on nappies or diapers, tissue paper, and other such paper or thin plastic products. Used in tandem with either color or blind embossing, this type of process is used as an accent in printing. This same technique is also used with foil stamping, and due to the advancement of current technology the use of dyes no longer has any restrictions on size.
The method of printing graphics and text on a glass or metal surface, plastic carrier bags and other such packaging material is called flexography. The term comes from the flexibility of the surface. This is achieved by special presses and malleable relief plates connected to a printing cylinder. Although it’s new, this is essentially the letterpress of the modern world, and is used on any substrate like metallic films, cellophane, paper of course, plastic film, etc. This style is widely used in Singapore to print on smooth surfaces for food stuff packaging. This is also very useful in printing large solid colors. At one point, flexography was considered to be a specialty service, however at this point most printing companies offer it as commonplace. Beyond food stuff packaging, flexography is suitable for gift wrap, company papers, magazine inserts, wall papering, phone directories, and the list goes on.
Using a toner and a charged drum thermally fused to the substrate, electrostatic printing is the modern day photocopying, and is perfect for short runs of printing. This method prints without contacting the surface, which differs from other styles of printing. There is no ink or typeform, as using this process the surface is covered with an ultra thin layer of zinc oxide which is an electric conductor in light.
Silk, or screen printing, places ink or dye in a screen of typically silk and works as a stencil. This is commonly used on substrates with less than even surfaces, it’s a great choice for bumper stickers, billboards, binders, coffee mugs, and clothing etc. This process is hundreds of years old but stands the test of time, even as technology has improved.
Silk printing forces dye or ink into a stencil covered fabric mesh, and the ink goes just beneath the printing frame just above the substrate. This is a versatile method, and can be reused for more than one job. Screen printing is also a more economic option as the cost is considerably lower than the aforementioned processes. The only real downside to it is that it is much slower but it can be used on more surfaces.
With this new knowledge of the processes of Singaporean printing companies, you should know exactly what to seek out in your printing needs and have a better idea of what questions to ask when you speak with someone from such a company.