Before you prepare copy for reproduction, familiarize yourself with the type
of press and processes available to you. Press capabilities and limitations
will dictate the parameters of the copy you prepare.
The four types of basic printing processes are letterpress, gravure,
lithography/offset lithography, and electronic digitization. Letterpress and
gravure are seldom used in Navy shops. Until recently, lithography/offset
lithography has been the primary method of reproduction, and now electronic
digitization and laser imagery are taking over.
Letterpress, the oldest form of printing, is a form of relief printing. A
letterpress plate is carved or etched by hand or chemical with the image area
left raised. The open or nonimage areas are etched below the surface of the
plate. The raised portions of the plate receives ink from a roller. When
paper contacts the raised (inked) portions of the plate, an image appears on
Figure 1-1 illustrates the letterpress printing process.
Figure 1-1.Letterpress printing.
Continued on next page