Technology

Technology

Printing Technique

Printing Techniques of Top Card

Back in 1989, silkscreen printing machine was the very first machine Top Card acquires and goes online in our factory. Starting from that point, we have cultivated our printing techniques at each production process. From making printing film, fine-tuning printing ink, and different printing requirements of various forms of plastics and metal, we have our best practices to present just what you need.

Regular Printing Processing for Luggage Tags

  • Artwork Evaluation: Artworks need to be optimized for printing at least 300 dpi. What you see on a computer screen is one thing, whereas printing result is another. Our graphic designer will fine-tune the best printing properties for different printing operations. So the print results match best with original artwork on the screen.
  • Printing Film: After artwork is confirmed for print, the next step is making printing film. is made of resin.
  • Printing Plate / Mesh: Printing film is made to make printing mesh.
  • Printing Ink Matching: The final stage before bulk printing, is to make sure that ink color match the PMS.
Silkscreen Printing
Silkscreen Printing

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 screen. A screen is a piece of mesh stretched across a square or rectangular frame. Now the exact artwork on the printing film is then transferred onto the mesh.
The ink is then pressed through the holes in the mesh and onto the substrate. The areas that inks should not pass through, will be covered with the ink-blocking substance - resin, so final result is as artwork designs. 1 PMS color requires 1 printing film and screen.

Printing Skillset

The mesh is made with countless lines. There's a minimum size requirement for any part of the artwork to be printable. In other words, there are minimum line count requirement for each artwork to fulfill. Our designer will evaluate distances and variations in line screens to advise if artwork needs to be revised.

Printing Types

  • Automatic Printing Machinery: the ink pressing process is run by automatic machine for larger scale product.
  • Manual Printing Equipment: the printing staff needs to hold the screen and use a roller to push ink through the mesh onto printing substrates.
Offset / Full-color / 6 - 8 Color Printing Machine
Offset / Full-color / 6 - 8 Color Printing Machine

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 process. Or simply, there are too many colors on your artwork that it's just not economical to do screen printing.

How does it work ?

Offset printing machine is a very high scale and full-speed printing machine. "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, brighter 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" print with offset printing. This way, a particular color - a PMS, fluorescent, or metallic color effect can be presented on full-color design too.

Digital Printing Machine
Digital Printing Machine

When do you need digital printing?
Digital printing can print any artwork per design and is the most "flexible" operation compare to screen and offset printing - as printing is just 1 click away with no printing film and plate required. We highly recommend choosing digital printing when:
  • Each design on cards or luggage tags has something different to be printed: sequential numbers, different names, bar codes or ID patterns. All we need to do is have our designer put into layout for print!
  • Your quantity is around 200 - 300pcs which the costs for screen or offset printing is just too much costly.
How does it work ?

Digital printer is like your desktop printer - but just much higher scale and complex ink combination. Top Card owns a HP industrial digital printer that contains 12 color combination printing to make the printing result as beautiful 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, black is not with 100%K but with combination of all CMYK to be the greatest black.