Print Design Services

Curvwork has extensive experience with print design for sheet fed and web press products and packaging. Print based marketing and publishing budgets have been reduced in the past decade as a result of the web, however it still remains a potent marketing and communications tool. Recent developments in printing technology are also changing how printing is purchased and used - we have experience with all of them.

Offset Lithography
Also referred to as offset printing is the most common method of commercial printing. From economical one color presses to modern high speed, multi-color large presses capable of printing elaborate brochures, annual reports, and other high quality printed pieces the offset press uses the same basic process which employs a metal plate with a completely smooth surface. The ink is separated from non-printing areas of the plate by slightly chemically etching the image, creating hydrophilic regions that accept a film of water and thereby repel the greasy ink. Web offset printing differs from sheet-fed offset printing in its capability of running at very high speed from a roll of paper (measured in tons) that is more appropriate for newspapers and magazines, where as sheet-fed is used for smaller quantity, higher quality, and shorter print runs.

Compared to other techniques offset printing offers our clients the most flexibility in terms of paper choices, printing inks and special processes. In addition to the traditional 4 color process inks; cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK), a wide variety of premixed colors including metallic and fluorescent inks are available. Embossing, die-cutting, foil stamping, are just a few of the multitude of options that when in right hands can contribute to a unique printed piece.
Engraving, also photoengraving, or rotogravure is different from offset in that the ink is pressed into a recess or grooves created in the metal surface, rather than ink sitting on a smooth metal plate. Although this printing technique is less common, the effect is a denser, and in some cases a higher quality image. Engraving is occasionally used in printing high quality stationery and business cards, and can be differentiated from its offset cousin by the way the ink sits up on the paper creating a distinct tactile presence. Not to be confused with thermography or “raised printing” commonly offered at retail print shops, the true engraved process has a wonderful sense of depth and permanence with high definition and crisp appearance.

Flexography is a similar but improved form of letterpress printing (the original Gutenberg press was the earliest form of letterpress). Flexography gets its name from using a flexible rubber or plastic plate that holds ink on a raised surface. Flexography is appropriate for a wide range of printing including corrugated boxes, flexible packaging including retail and shopping bags, food and hygiene bags, milk and beverage cartons, flexible plastics, self adhesive labels, disposable cups and containers.

Screen-printing is a method of printing where the ink is pressed through a fine mesh screen and is most commonly used for printing on fabrics such as t-shirts, hats and other garments.

Digital Printing
Digital Printing or printing on demand employs newer technology that by-passes the traditional plate and/or die processes fundamentally changing the speed and cost of short-run sheet-fed printing. The IGen and Indigo are two such printing presses from Xerox and HP, respectively, both to the casual viewer will look similar to traditional offset printing.
While less versatile than traditional offset printing, digital printing enables low volume, short run printing at a cost advantage.

Inkjet printing has been around for several years but has recently made huge strides in quality and has taken over traditional photography darkroom printing. Inkjet is available in wide format to produce signage and super large graphics for both indoor and outdoor use. Giclée printing is a term used to qualify inkjet printing for fine art and archival purposes using acid free paper or canvass, and fade resistant inks.
Print Production Software
We have extensive experience with Adobe's Creative Suite including InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.