Overview of the Printing & Publishing Sector
Printing is a process which allows the chosen content of an article or essential knowledge to be shared. This could be in a book, newspaper, magazine, maybe a public information notice or signage – which will advise a person of a forthcoming event, allow them to understand which route they have to take or alert them of potential dangers and hazards.
The process of printing and relaying information on to paper has come a long way since the first era of the printing press. Early printing was carried out by means of a simple press whereupon the type awould be replicated onto paper by individually arranging ‘slugs’ so that they formed the wording of the piece. These would be fixed into a metal frame (more commonly known as a chase.) The chase would then be fixed securely into the press and inked. Huge rolls of paper are then be set up ready to roll, and each chosen size of sheet would then contain the essential information required.
Newspapers are printed in either broadsheet or tabloid format. The fundamental difference between the two is the sizing – a broadsheet typically measures 11-12 inches wide and 20 plus inches in length, it also usually concurs that most broadsheet newspapers will have six columns across whereas a tabloid paper will measure approximately 11 inches by 17 inches and will only consist of five columns. The type of material found within a broadsheet will also differ greatly to that of a tabloid. A broadsheet is supposed to be a more respectable and truth-telling editorial which will focus on serious news-related issues and cutting-edge journalism compared to a tabloid which is often referred to as a ‘gutter-press’ paper as it can be more prone to re-telling the most lurid, scandalous and intrusive gossip.
There are several types of modern day printing methods which include Offset Lithography – this is an extremely efficient process and one of the most preferred within the print industry. Letterpress – although it has evolved from the method originally used by Gutenberg, it is still not as efficient as other types of printing methods used today. Digital printing produces high quality prints and is highly regarded as an optimum way of reproducing images and content.
Electrostatic Printing was invented by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg and does not require any ink or printing plates. Many maps and geographical images are printed by means of electrostatic printing, and it is faster and efficient than an inkjet printer. Engraving is an excellent way of creating company letterheads, corporate logos, wedding and party invitations as it allows the font to be raised and tends to be a more attractive and elegant script.
When a person has written a book or a manuscript or a company require a series of menus, business cards, letterheads, newsletters or magazines and newspapers they will usually require a Publishing service. The publishing service will advise the best method to reproduce the images and content, type of paper to be used, font size and method of binding the chosen material. Desktop Publishing combines the use of a PC, laptop or Word-Processor and will use a software program to create documents. This gives much control over design, page layout and typography at the touch of a button and allows a final preview before sending the material to print.
In today’s modern world, technology allows us the choice of either having a book published and bound by traditional methods or to be created as an e-book, which can then be purchased as a download onto an iPad, Kindle or some other kind of electronic ‘reader.’ A vast majority of people still prefer to read a book or editorial in its printed 3D form as a ‘hold-in-your-hand’ document and would-be writers and professional journalists find it extremely gratifying to see their name in print on the cover of a magazine or book, as opposed to an e-book or e-magazine.
There are many advantages to virtual printing such as the instant correction of a typo on a document and also the fact that when an article of publication is sent out to the world-wide web, it also allows the opportunity to immediately target its chosen audience by means of addressing it to a specific destination and also by way of adding links to written pages so that the writer has more control over who can potentially see their written content.
Many printing and publishing companies still prefer to be in-house although a vast number are now choosing to outsource to copywriters and illustrators. With the rising influx of social media and networking online, it is now far easier for companies to market and advertise their services for free adding links to social media sites which will direct the flow of traffic to them and the services they offer.