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Printing from A to Z - Learning the Ins and Outs of Printing for Desktop Publishing

written by: Amber Neely•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 4/16/2012

Whether you're a seasoned professional or a newbie, there is a lot to learn about printing. For example, do you know what flexography printing is used for? Have you learned the different types of binding? Do you know what screen printing is? This guide answers these questions and many more.

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    Printers Printing can be done on everything from fabric to coffee mugs, book covers to Frisbees and more. Usually printing is carried out by a company as an industrial product, but after the advent of the inkjet printer, printing has become second nature to almost anyone with a computer.

    Printing is one of those things, most people know how to do it, few people know how to do it well. That's not to say that you've been printing your projects wrong. Most people these days own printers due to their affordability and the fact that we've become reliant on them. After all, students use them for printing out papers, family members use them for printing out pictures to share, and of course there are printables like coupons and airline tickets. However, most people are using the same settings to print all of these, when really you should be taking the time to fit the method to the end product. After all, these are incredibly complex machines that are frequently capable of creating much more than we give them credit for. Taking the time to learn a bit more in this guide to printing is sure to help take the quality of your projects from good to great, and help solve many problems you thought you may just have had to deal with.

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    Types of Printers

    Just as there are different models and makes of computers, phones, scanners, and other technology, there are different kinds of printers. And just as you'd expect one computer to do a certain task better than another, often these printers are used to complete specific tasks, be it something as simple as printing occasionally at home, or printing frequently in the office. By checking out these helpful guides, you'll find the perfect printer for whatever it is you need, whether it's printing brochures or labels, or even printing on tricky mediums like fabric.

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    Printing and Resolution

    When it comes to printing, one of the most important things you can take the time to learn about is resolution. Resolution basically defines how high quality your printed project will be. Learning about resolution can be a bit tricky, as there are different factors and measurements that you need to take into account for each project you are printing. However, don't worry too much, as these insightful guides are sure to help you become a seasoned printer in no time.

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    Inks and Colors

    When it comes to printing, one of the most important factors in getting a high-quality result is the ink and colors you use to print with. Believe it or not, there are more than just our basic "color" and "black" ink, and understanding these differences can take your projects to the next level. Here you'll learn about what options you have both privately and commercially, as well as tricks and tips for applying ink to your projects professionally.

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    Types of Printing

    Believe it or not, there is more than one way to print a project. Not only is there more than one way to do it, several of these techniques work well for one type of project, but may not work well for another. Do you know the difference between offset and digital printing? Do you know what flexography printing is commonly used for? Do you know the ins and outs of preprinting techniques? If not, our comprehensive guide is here to help, filling in any questions you may have about printing, as well as how to figure out which methods are perfect for your projects. Continue down to our Screen Printing and Different Mediums sections, for more help in this area.

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    Printing Software

    Sometimes you may have a project that you find a bit difficult to print with your standard catch-all desktop publishing software. Often the specific problems can be solved by finding and using specialty software or manual overrides in existing software, allowing for headache-free printing. Check out the software below which can help you with your specific printing needs.

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    Printing on Different Mediums and Unusual Sizes

    If you branch out from printing at all, you're likely to run into trouble when printing on different types of mediums, and you'll probably have to learn how to print on unusual sized mediums as well. Here you'll learn the importance of picking the correct paper for your project, as well as ways to deal with unusual sized things, such as small envelopes and unusual surfaces, such as fabrics to print on.

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    Troubleshooting Common Printing Problems

    Troubleshooting If you print long enough, you're going to run into problems. Sometimes it's the formats that look different on screen to when you print them, sometimes your printer doesn't seem to be working correctly. Instead of fretting about potentially ruined projects, why not try to troubleshoot the problems instead? Here are a few tips and tricks that are guaranteed to help you fix any problems that arise when printing.

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    Screen Printing

    Screen printing is the process that involves pressing ink through a mesh screen to transfer the design onto a surface beneath. This is an ideal solution for several scenarios, such as printing on dark surfaces, printing on fabric, printing on unusual surfaces (e.g. walls, book covers, coffee mugs, etc.) and more. In addition to being affordable, screen printing can be done at home easily and makes for a fun project. Check out these tips, tricks, and guides for screen printing, which will get you started ink blocking in no time.

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    Folding and Binding

    If you're printing a book, photo album, or collection of documents, chances are you're going to want to bind it. If you're a business, you might want to invest in a machine that will make quick work of the task. If you're a home printer or printing infrequently, you're probably going to want to learn techniques that allow you to do this by hand. Learn what options are available to you with these helpful reviews and techniques for binding your printed media.

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