The printing process known as gravure operates by using an engraved cylinder to transfer an image onto a substrate. A photosensitive coating is spread over the cylinder and then exposed to a positive image. Next, the exposed areas undergo development, leaving a negative relief of the image on the cylinder. To complete the process, ink is applied to the cylinder and transferred onto the substrate.
Gravure printing finds wide application in various print fields such as magazines, packaging, and labels. This technique excels at producing prints of exceptional quality with intricate details and remarkable resolutions. Moreover, gravure is versatile because it can effectively print on diverse substrates like paper, plastic, and metal.
Often associated with top-notch magazine printing or commercial products such as packaging and labels that require superior quality results, gravure printing combines minute detailing capabilities and excellent ink coverage for images comprising complex designs or dark shades.
Copper or zinc are the primary materials for creating gravure printing plates, though alternate metals like aluminum can also suffice. Professionals apply an etching solution to the metal surface to produce minuscule indentations or ridges to make these plates. The dimensions of these features determine how much ink will be transferred during the printing process.
Ink is then spread across the metal plate and transferred onto the desired printing surface by applying significant pressure. The depth of the engraved areas determines precisely how much ink will be conveyed.
Gravure printing involves an engraved cylinder imprinting an image onto a substrate. This printing mode finds extensive use in applications necessitating precise detailing, such as magazines, books, and newspapers. Compared to alternative methods, gravure offers unparalleled print quality and thus remains favored for high-quality applications.