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ABC's of screen printing

There are four types of plates for printing.
  • Relief printing

    Relief printing is also called letterpress printing. Seal impressions and block prints are representative examples. Relief printing is a process of applying ink to a relief printing plate and printing images onto media.
  • Intaglio printing

    It is also called gravure printing and different from relief printing in that ink is applied to an intaglio plate.
  • Planographic printing

    It is also called offset printing. A thin layer of special resin is applied to a metallic plate, a film is attached to an area you want to print, and light is transferred. Ink is then applied to the area and transferred to a rubber roller. Finally, the roller is transferred onto paper.
  • Stencil printing

    It is also called mimeograph printing. "Printogokko," a very popular family-use printing device, belongs to this category. Small holes are made in the area of the fabric (once silk printing) material plate you want to print, and ink is transferred through the holes while it is scraped out by a roller or squeegee.

What is screen printing?

Screen printing is in principle similar to stencil printing: a photosensitive emulsion is uniformly applied to a mesh-like plate, and the image on a photo mask is transferred to a medium. Ink is scraped out by a roller or squeegee through holes.

Screen printing today

Screen printing is used for a wide range of applications, from signboards, beverage cans and PET bottles to T-shirts and ceramic ware, and can often be found in our daily lives. Pastes, plates, and printers are further improved in performance, realizing finer, thinner, paler, or smaller printing.