Redaktionen Redaktionen Published on 4/22/2024

Offset Printing

Offset printing is an indirect printing process derived from lithography and is now one of the most popular systems for reproducing text and images in black and white or color (books, newspapers, magazines, etc.). The “offset” printing process is characterized by the use of a flat matrix (i.e., with printing areas, where the ink adheres, arranged on the same plane as the non-printing areas, humidified so that they repel the ink), usually of zinc, obtained by photolithographic-type processes. During printing, this matrix does not come into direct contact with the sheet of paper, but transmits its image, upside down, onto an intermediate cylinder covered with a rubberized cloth which brings it straight back onto the paper. Thanks to this process, it is possible to print in high definition not only on paper but also on rough or hard materials, such as cardboard, wood, metal, etc.).

Digital Printing

Digital printing” is generically defined as a printing system that allows shape to be reproduced through electronic processes and imprinted directly on the substrate to be printed. Lacking a precise definition of digital printing, machines that have very different characteristics from each other, both in terms of the construction part and their own use, are considered to fall under the definition.


Graphics is the term used to define the set of formal features (colors, fonts, lines, etc.) that define the appearance of a printed matter, drawing, book etc. Graphics also means the set of activities intended for the production of this type of work.

HP Indigo

HP Indigo is a division of the HP graphic Solution Business. Indigo is known as a pioneer in technologies related to digital printing. HP Indigo printing technology is characterized by successfully combining the quality of lithographic printing with the ability to print on a wide variety of materials. It takes advantage of a proprietary technology called Liquid Electrophotography (or LEP), which enables accurate and customized color management.

Direct Printing

Direct printing on fabric is a technique intended for custom apparel printing. With direct printing, high quality results are achieved, very similar to those obtained with traditional screen printing. The big difference is that the image is printed directly onto the fabric using a high-resolution printer that uses special inks. Thanks to direct printing on fabric, prints with high-definition photographic rendering are obtained while keeping costs low, even for small quantities. The direct printing technique makes it possible to customize various clothing items such as: t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, bags, shoes, and more.


A die cutter is a tool that allows precise cutting of a “soft” sheet product (paper, cardboard, leather, fabrics, rubbers, plastics, etc.).


A plotter is a specialized device for printing large-format media. It is the ideal output device for CAD systems, in which it is used for printing architectural, physical, chemical, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, electrical elevations and plans, topographical maps, geometric curves, etc. The plotter is also frequently used in graphics and advertising due to modern technologies that enable the plotter to print in color and even to cut out (cutting plotters).

The name “plotter” comes from the English verb to plot in the sense of to draw (a diagram or a long fine line, or even a dot, like the one at the end of this sentence after the round bracket).


The term cutter generally refers to a machine intended to cut certain products of workings to size, by means of blades driven by rotary or reciprocating motion, which can also be operated by hand.

There are different types of cutters, depending on the material to be cut, for example: t. for fabrics, for metal or plastic laminates, for laterizî; t. for trimming books and various printed matter, or photographs, photocopies. There are also very small cutters that are used in the process of amateur moontage of camera film.

Cutters also differ according to the precise purpose for which they are designed. Here are some types of cutters that can be found on the market:

  • vibration cutter
  • creasing cutter
  • rewinder slitter
  • sliding blade slitter
  • slitter and folder

Printing plate

The lithographic plate, or offset plate , is the material substrate (form) used in the offset printing process that physically transfers ink onto a rubberized substrate (blanket) that in turn transfers it, by contact, onto paper. Lithographic plates are traditionally made of aluminum with one side coated with a photosensitive or polymer-based material. In state-of-the-art offset printing systems, plates can be made of plastic material that is always covered on the side of the graphisms by photosensitive compounds that will generate the graphisms. An offset printing press employs as many plates as the number of colors it will print: thus a single plate in monochrome, 4 in four-color, and even 8 in four-color white and time


CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, black. It is a 4-channel color model, for this reason referred to as four-color, which works by subtractive synthesis and is employed by color printing devices both digital (printers, plotters, etc.) and in large machines (offset, gravure, etc.). Four-color printing works by mixing substances that, reflecting only part of the light spectrum, appear a specific color, such as inks, pigments, varnishes. The color obtained is the result of subtraction from the light spectrum of frequencies absorbed by the layer of opaque substances. The reproduction of color in print through the use of these four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) is called four-color printing.


The RGB model is an additive color model: colors are defined by the sum of the three colors Red (Red), Green (Green) and Blue (Blue), hence precisely the acronym RGB. The RGB model should not be confused with the other, subtractive-type system based on the primary colors Yellow, Cyan and Magenta.

The RGB color model is most suitable for use in representing and displaying images on the screen of electronic devices. In fact, most electronic devices normally use combinations of Red, Green and Blue to display the pixels of an image. However, it must be said that the actual color rendering depends largely on the device itself and its build quality: the same image might be displayed differently when displayed on two different devices, as the materials used to make the screens vary by manufacturer. Some differences in color rendering, moreover, may occur even in the same device, due to the natural deterioration of the device over time.

The three colors used in the RGB model, namely Red (Red), Green (Green) and Blue (Blue), in screens correspond to waveforms (light radiation) of fixed period, such as:

  • Red, with a wavelength of 700.47 nm
  • Green, with a wavelength of 546.09 nm
  • Blue, with a wavelength of 435.79 nm

The RGB model is unsuitable for use in printers. This is because printing images is done by employing pigments that absorb colors, so printers use a subtractive color model like CMYK and not additive like RGB.


Resolution, in computer science and computer image processing, is the magnitude that indicates the degree of sharpness and precision of detail in an image. The term “resolution” is also commonly used to denote the size of the area of a digital image as it consists of an array of dots (points) or picture elements (pixels), arranged in rows and columns.

A widely adopted criterion is to express resolution by means of the number of dots that the device is capable of rendering per unit length, which is usually one inch (2.54 cm), whence the unit dots per inch, both horizontally and vertically; for such a unit the acronym DPI (or dpi, from Engl. dots per inch) and is referred to as high r. for values on the order of 1200 or more DPI; for computer monitors it is used to refer to the minimum size, in millimeters, that the screen is capable of displaying (normal values are on the order of 0.3 mm).

Cut marks

In letterpress printing, the cut-off mark is a conventional mark inserted in editorial projects (manually according to typographic standards or automatically by specific page layout software) and, then, reported on the printing films with the purpose of indicating the correct alignment of the contents and guiding the paper cut. In detail, in the first case it is called a register cross, while in the second case it is called a cutting cross.


Abundance is a margin of a few millimeters that must be added to each side of the file to be printed. In fact, the process of cutting the printed material is not 100% accurate: there is always an error tolerance that falls within a range of a couple of millimeters per side, if we are talking about printing on paper. The obligatory presence of these additional “margins,” ensures that the printed and cut product reflects the initially intended dimensions.

For example, if we need to print a flyer with a size of 210×148.5 millimeters, we will have to send a file with a size of 214×152.5 millimeters. The additional 4 millimeters is necessary to ensure that the printed file can be cut respecting the actual dimensions that the object will need to have when printed.


Vector graphics is a computer-generated image representation technique. In vector graphics, the image is made up of graphic elements that are a collection of geometric primitive shapes, such as points, line segments, Bézier curves, etc., which can be characterized by colors and shades. These elements are geometrically placed in the drawing with the coordinates of the points of application indicated. The image generated by this technique is called a vector image. Radically different is raster graphics, in which images are described as a grid of appropriately colored pixels.

Spot Color

Spot colors are special inks that are premixed and used in place of or in addition to four-color (CMYK) inks. Each spot color requires its own printing plate. Varnish is also considered a spot color in that it requires a separate printing plate.


Pantone Inc. is an American company that develops graphics technology, catalogs colors and produces the color identification system. In fact, the “Pantone Matching System” has become the international standard for color classification in graphics, and is also adopted for color management in industry and chemistry.

Color Profile

The color profile is used to specify how the colors in an image should be printed to achieve the desired color effect.

The color profile is also referred to as the ICC (International Color Consortium) and is responsible for giving the right coordinates to the printing press so that it correctly doses the color and achieves a print with colors as close to the image as possible. Without the use of a color profile, the image will be printed “in the dark”: the color indications (assigned in CMYK) will be inaccurate and therefore the result may be very different from the expected.

The color profile collects the set of data that, according to the International Color Consortium, describes to a printing device how to interpret a workspace within a color model.


Layout is the English term derived from the nounicization of the verb lay out, literally meaning, “to lay out,” “to explain,” “to arrange.” The term layout in Italian is generally related to publishing and indicates the general graphic arrangement of a composition block on the page.

When we speak of layout, therefore, we generally refer to the layout of a document.

In typography, the term layout means the act of arranging text and images and any other graphic elements in their proper position on the page.

In publishing, page layout is the harmonious way in which a printed matter is organized. Through proper page layout, the aim is to achieve a document that, at the end of the process, assembles images and text and produces a finished product (magazine, newspaper, web page, a brochure, etc.)

When the layout is particularly rich in photographs and motion it is called spotted.


Overprinting is a technique adopted in lithography to prevent the creation of a thin white mark around layout elements.

Overprinting is often adopted in black text printed over a colored background: thanks to overprinting, the white that would be created behind the black text, i.e., the “perforation,” is eliminated, leaving the color of the backing behind the black text, without altering it. Overprinting is very useful because, if at the printing stage you were not accurate to the tenth of a millimeter, you will avoid the problem of the so-called “out-of-register,” that is, that very thin white border that surrounds some elements, in this case the text.

Cutting path

Some Photoshop files have clipping paths built in, and some do not. A clipping path in an image file allows you to quickly define print areas. Clipping paths also allow you to export parts of an image to other graphics programs. Clipping path creation can be considered advanced Photoshop knowledge, but don’t let the idea of making one intimidate you. clipping paths often result in hitting combinations of images, so it’s a good idea to understand what they are.


A “clipping path” is a computer graphics term that applies to creating an image composite, which is a final image made from multiple images. It is a 1-bit mask that references an object within a file that does not actually exist. clipping paths are vector format shapes that isolate one part of a pixel-based image from another.


Ennobled, ennobled or laminated, laminated ennobling, print ennobling.

Ennobling of printed matter means any procedure suitable for its qualitative transformation.

There are several commercially available ennobling procedures. Some have been used for decades (such as gloss and matte lamination and varnishing), others are more innovative and recent (hot stamping, embossing, thermography).

Ennobling, as implied by the term itself, thus has the function of increasing the aesthetic value and value of the printed material.

Some examples of ennobling techniques are:

  • embossing(embossing)
  • die-cutting(cutting)
  • thermography/thermal relief(chemical embossing)
  • labbratura(imitation gold leaf)
  • hot foil stamping

Selective white

Selective white is a special finish that allows white color to be printed on some specific substrates. Printing white, in fact, is a complex task since the white color cannot be reproduced through four-color combination (CMYK). In fact, the conventional inkjet printer only prints colors that are in the spectrum surrounding white, but they cannot print white itself. For this reason, more technologically advanced printers have taken steps to integrate white as an additional fifth printable color. Selective white printing is mainly used on materials such as transparent, translucent, colored, mirrored or metallized substrates.