Artwork evaluation: Artworks need to be optimized for printing at least 350 dpi. and with sufficient bleeding for cutting. Our graphic designer will fine-tune printing properties for different printing operations. So the print results match best with original artwork seen on a computer screen.
Printing film: After artwork is confirmed for sampling or bulk printing, we will start to produce printing film. This contains the effort to “break down” the artwork into separate colors.
Printing plate / mesh: Then the pattern on a printing film is transferred onto a printing mesh. For example, if artwork will be done by screen printing and it contains 4 colors. There will be 4 printing plates.
Ink fine-tuning: So it can match the requested PMS. Testing printing run is always required regardless of which printing method is being operated. This is why there's usually MOQ requirement. As there will always be material wastage for the color fine-tune process.
When do you need silkscreen printing?
When you need colors to specifically match PMS Pantone number and the artwork is not in picturistic format - which means you can actually count color quantity on your artwork.How does it Work?
The fundamental equipment for screen printing is the printing plate, as the picture above. A printing plate is a piece of mesh stretched across a square or rectangular metal frame.
The ink is pressed through the very tiny holes of the mesh and onto the PVC board. 1 PMS color requires 1 printing film and screen.
The mesh is made with countless lines. There's a minimum size requirement for the artwork to be printable. In other words, there are minimum line count requirement for every section of the artwork to fulfill. Our designer will evaluate distance and variation in line screens to advise if artwork needs to be updated.
Automatic printer: The ink pressing process is run by automatic machine for larger scale surface.
Manual printing equipment: The printing staff needs to hold the screen and use a roller to push ink through the mesh onto printing substrates. This is only ideal for small printing surface.
When do you need offset printing?
When your artwork is picturistic format - with mixed colors or color fading effects, you need the full-color printing. Or simply, there are too many colors on your artwork that it's just not cost-efficient to do screen printing.How does it work ?
"Full-color" originally refers to CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Keyline (Black). Most offset printing machine has evolved into 6 - 8 color printing process which by adding extra 2 - 4 colors can create much sharper and higher resolution printing result. Same as screen printing, each color requires a printing plate but this time each plate is in a "roller" formats. Each roller lines up for a continual printing process which operates in high speed.Printing Skillset
What if there's a specific corporate color or branding PMS to match on a full-color artwork design? We can combine a special method - "spot color" along with offset printing. This way, a particular color - a PMS, fluorescent, or metallic color effect can be presented on full-color design too.
When do you need digital printing?
Digital printing is literally like an office printer, but just much more high-scale in every aspects. This literally meant no printing film is required any more. But as a manufacturer, time and effort still required to layout the typesetting. Digital printing is the most “flexible” option compare to screen and offset printing. We highly recommend choosing digital printing when:
Each design is different such as: sequential numbers, different names, bar codes or just any kind of different patterns. All we need to do is have our designer typesetting into layouts for print.
Order quantity is below 500pcs to stay cost-efficient for us and yourself!
Digital printer is equipped with complex ink combination and UV lights to immediately dry off the printing ink. Top Card owns a HP industrial digital printer that contains 12 color combination printing to make the printing result as sharp as it can be.Printing Skillset
As digital printer is an inkjet printer, our staff is trained to adjust original artwork's CMYK ratio to match the best printing result. For example, a black is not with 100% K but with different combination of CMYK ratio, a black can be the darkest.