The Most Common Types of Printing

There are several different types of printing in the market, but as a print and mail company, below are some of the most common types of printing done at Delta Print Group.


Large format doesn’t just mean large images or oversized documents. Even small items like stickers are large format items. The term large format refers to material that is bigger than traditional-sized prints. These prints need a clear definition in order to not lose the picture quality of the original image. The type of material used can also determine if a project is a large format piece. Materials like: metal signs, vinyl, acrylic, and canvas are common materials used for large formatting.

Offset Printing

Offset printing is a common and favored printing technique in which an image is transferred from a plate to a roller and then to the printing surface. There are two types of offset printing which include offset lithography and offset printing. Offset lithography is based on the repulsion of oil and water. Modern offset printing allows the prepress phase to convert the print files into the proper CMYK color and then create plates for each color of the job using the 4 color printing model.

Sheetfed Printing

Sheetfed printing is a high-quality printing process that can either use individual sheets of paper that are manually fed into the printer or a large roll of paper that offers a continuous feed that can be cut while printing. This is an alternative to web printing which also uses continuous rolls of paper. While sheetfed presses do not print as fast as web presses, they require less set-up time which lowers the final printing costs.

Web Printing

Web printing, a technology that once revolutionized the publishing industry, is a form of offset printing that is ideal for mass production usually beginning at 50,000 pieces or more. Large, continuous rolls of paper are fed through a printing press to produce a long strand of print material in a single run. There are different types of web printing including heatset and ultraviolet. With ultraviolet ink, the ink is dried via a UV lamp that creates a chemical reaction to bond the ink to the paper. This type of printing does not produce as much heat as heatset printing.

Digital Printing

Digital Printing is a process that involves using digital-based images and printing them directly onto a substrate (usually paper). Unlike offset printing, there is no need for a plate as print files are exported as PDFs and sent directly to the press for printing. While digital printing is a newer, more modern form of printing, it delivers that same offset quality that printers love. One advantage of digital printing is the ability to print personalized, variable data. In recent years, inkjet technology has simplified digital print accessibility as well as the cost, speed, and quality challenges facing print providers today.

Variable Data

Variable Data Printing is a digital printing process that is used to create individualized data pieces for direct mail marketing such as customer name, address, gender, age, etc. Variable data works by systematically pulling specific data from a file and inserting them into a template to be matched to print files.

InkJet Press

The fastest-growing sector of digital printing, inkjet presses are great for high-volume production like envelopes or business cards that need variable printing. Inkjetting allows for small amounts of material to drop on specific locations on a substrate.


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