What is Commercial Printing?

Think about all of the commercial printing materials you come across in a single day. The direct mailers, the billboards, company brochures, business cards and so forth, all of the paper sizes, paper thickness, the colors and the creative marketing materials. Now, think about how these items become reality? How they evolve from a idea, to an design to a final printout.

Commercial printing is the process of taking art work and transferring that work onto a piece of paper or card stock. Many companies use a form of offset printing to transfer four sets of color, being cyan, magenta, yellow and black or otherwise known as CMYK.

The process is somewhat simple and hasn’t really changes in over a 100 years. An aluminum plate is created from the art work, each representing one color out of the CMYK process. The plate is wrapped around a plate cylinder that allows ink to fill up the cut out shape of the aluminum plate. Ink is poured into the cutout and it is transferred to a rubber roller called the blanket cylinder. The blanket cylinder is what is used to allow the paper to roll within to retrieve the right level of ink. Finally, the impression cylinder is the roller that pushes paper along at 10,000 sheets per hour to absorb the right level of ink. There are four presses, each for the individual colors. The paper moves along each press, retrieving one color at a time and finally ends up in an area of inferred heat to dry the paper for printing on the back side.

Commercial printing includes the right level of water and ink. The aluminum plate allows the paper to absorb the right level of ink and the rollers presses the image onto the paper, one at a time.

Commercial printing has many advantages that create professional and outstanding final products for many people to enjoy. There are many companies practicing this form of professional printing. The key is to ask the right questions and understand the printing process as CMYK Offset printing techniques are the best method for printing amazing marketing materials.