Printing services Singapore have become more commonplace, and with demands at an all-time high, finding one should not be too difficult. Before you contact one however, it’s essential you learn what types of services are available so you can prepare beforehand. Printing is basically the process of reproducing images and / or text on a surface such as paper, but there’s more to it than that.

Digital Printing

Digital printing refers to digital image reproduction on a physical surface such as paper, plastic, cloth, film, photographic paper and so on. Although it bears some resemblance to lithographic printing, digital printing differs in many respects.

  • All impressions made on the physical surface can be unique, so there’s no need to use the same impression from a single plate set.
  • The toner or ink is not absorbed in the physical surface, but instead is a new layer.
  • Digital printing doesn’t generate as much waste as traditional print methods, and doesn’t require as many papers or chemicals either.
  • Digital printing is also ideal for prototyping.

While digital printing is still somewhat new it is rapidly gaining ground in Singapore because with it you can send graphics and text from your computer to the press, doing away with plates and typesetting. Digital printing is particularly effective for short run jobs that need quick turnarounds.

Check out this video to find out the process.

Emboss Printing

Embossing refers to a printing method whereby a 3D or raised image is set on paper. Printing services use two methods for embossing, dry and heat embossing. Dry or relief embossing is done with a stencil, stylus or other instruments, while heat embossing relies on a heat source and a special powder or ink. Heat embossing is a special procedure that creates an impression on a surface, and it may be convex (like the exterior of a sphere) or concave (inward similar to a bowl).

Embossing may be used on textiles or other surfaces such as tissue paper, diapers, napkins and other products. In printing, the process is applied as an accent and often used with either blind embossing or color embossing. The procedure is also compatible with foil stamping, and all of these methods employ die and counter die, and thanks to technology there are no longer any restrictions with regards to size.

Flexography

Flexography is the process used to print text and graphics on can and bottle labels, gift wraps, grocery and plastic bags and other packaging materials. In flexography, special presses use flexible relief plates which are connected to a print cylinder. While the techniques are new, it is basically the modern letterpress and it can be used to print on just about any substrate such as paper, cellophane, metallic films, plastic and so on.

In Singapore, this method is widely used to print on non-porous substrates necessary for food packing, and flexography is also suitable for printing large solid colors. There was a time when flexography was considered as a specialty service, but more and more printing services now offer it. Aside from its use on food packaging, flexography printing is used on gift wrappers, business forms, phone directories, paperback books, newspaper inserts, magazines, wall covering and more.

Electrostatic Printing

Electrostatic printing is a procedure that uses a toner and a charged drum which is then thermally fused to the printing surface. In a sense electrostatic printing is similar to photocopying and is ideal for short printing runs. What makes the process different is that it prints without contact, ink or type form. Under this procedure, paper is covered with a fine layer of zinc oxide, turning it into an insulator in darkness and an electrical conductor in the light.

Gravure Printing

This is a high quality but expensive printing method that involves direct contact between the paper and an etched copper plate. It’s the plate that raises its price tag, but there’s no question this method is very effective in producing large, high quality brochures, reports, catalogues, magazines and other materials.

Gravure allows for the production of images with tonal effects akin to photos, and because it is high quality used in magazines, pressure sensitive tablets and various packaging applications. If you’re going to produce magazines or catalogs with high circulation, gravure is the ideal choice, and it’s also useful for laminates, printed upholstery and more.

Screen Printing

Also called silk printing, this procedure puts ink in a screen to generate output like a stencil. Silk printing is frequently used in non-flat goods and is a good option to print on billboards, bumper stickers, ring blinders, t-shirt printing, jersey printing and mugs among others. The method isn’t new really, and it’s been around for centuries. However, the technology has improved through the years.

Even so, the procedure still includes forcing ink in a stencil covered wire mesh or fabric. Under this procedure, the ink goes into the opening and is placed in a printing surface just under the frame. Screen printing is very versatile and capable of dealing with several applications. Compared to the other printing services, the cost is much lower, but it is slower. It can however, be used on glass, paper, wood and other surfaces.

Here is another video about screen printing process.

What to Look for in a Printing Service

There are several things you need to consider when looking for a printing service, including the following.

  • Reputation: does the company have other clients? What do Singaporean companies think about their service? What is the feedback?
  • What kind of services do they provide? Aside from those mentioned above, quality printing services also offer printing for apparel, exhibitions, display structures, wall murals and more. Other printing services include lithography, thermography, letter press, traditional printing etc. The more services provided the better.
  • Competitive price: there are many printing companies in Singapore so get a few price quotes first.

The bottom line is that when it comes to printing services Singapore you have a lot of options, and it’s simply a matter of doing some research so you can find the right one. Now that you know the printing methods used by Singaporean companies, you’ll know exactly what to look for and what questions to ask.