Different Types of Printing Services Everything You Need to Know and More!

Different Types of Printing Services Everything You Need to Know and More!

What started since before 220AD, when the printing technique involved carving an image onto a wooden surface, professional printing services has evolved, along with technology, into printing in multiple formats and on almost any type of material. It all depends on your requirements for the business. Using digital technology in printing services enables cost-effective and speedy delivery.

If you are fairly new to the printing industry, it can become quite mind-blowing choosing the right type of printing. Some printing services are great for printing low volumes while others are ideal for large volumes. Here are the answers to the distinct types of printing services, what they are ideal for and how they work.


Offset Printing

Also known as offset lithography or simply litho, offset printing is the most popular method for printing in large volumes as well.

What is offset printing ideal for?

  • Books, paper, stationery, labels, brochures and more
  • It’s also a better option when using special colours

How does offset printing work?

  • Aluminium plates contain an image of the content to be printed
  • Plates transfer ink from rollers onto rubber blankets
  • The inked blankets transfer the image onto the material – paper, cardboard

Because of the time, cost and effort required for initial arrangement, before the printing process starts, offset printing is not the most cost-effective printing service for printing in small amounts. Choose this only when printing a large amount of content or special colours are needed.

Want to find out how much offset printing costs? Click here and check your FREE quote.



This modern version of letterpress printing, which originated in the 15th century, is commonly used for printing on irregular surfaces. Flexography uses quick-drying, semi-liquid inks. It can be used for high volume printing services.

What is flexography ideal for?

  • Packaging, labels, grocery bags, etc
  • Printing on non-paper materials like plastic, cans, and more
  • Anything with continuous patterns like wallpapers and gift wraps

How does flexography work?

  • Flexible photopolymer printing plates wrapped around rotating cylinders
  • The inked plates have a slightly raised image of the content
  • The cylinders rotate at high speeds while transferring the image onto the material

Flexography is a popular choice for its high-speed ability and can run for long duration. It can print on a range of materials including plastic, cellophane, and metallic films.

Have more questions about flexography? Leave us a message.


Digital Printing

Digital printing is a modern printing service that covers a variety of techniques including inkjet printing and laser printing, also known as xerography. It saves a lot of time, prevents chemical and paper wastage, and gives high-quality finishes.

What is digital printing ideal for?

  • Poster printing, signages and banner printing
  • Labels, newsletters, menus, and letters

How does digital printing work?

  • Content is sent directly to the printer via files such as PDFs, Word Docs, etc
  • The ink and toner remain on the surface and don’t get absorbed by paper

Digital printers provide quick turnaround for businesses that print on demand. Additionally, digital printing is great for printing in small amounts due to speed and low-cost.

Choose xerography, aka laser printing, for printing short run books, documents, snail mail, brochures and pamphlets.

Want to find out how much digital printing costs? Click here and check your FREE online quote.

Large Format

Also known as wide format printing, large format printing service can produce maximum print roll width. It is widely used by businesses on conventional advertising mediums such as large maps or charts, store displays, wall panels, large posters, and banners, building wraps and more. While a typical printer can handle up to 1,020mm wide paper, large format printers can operate on materials up to 2,500mm wide.

What is large format ideal for?

  • Large signages such as billboards, maps, posters, outdoor signage, vinyl banners, etc
  • Wallpapers, murals, backlit displays, trade show wall panels and more
  • Floor graphics and window clings
  • Laminating, blueprints, and color comps

How does large format work?

  • The dimensions are programmed into the printer
  • Rolls of prints or flat sheets are fed gradually through the printer
  • The printer sprays the ink to match the graphics

From printable materials such as metal, wood, PVC, vinyls, plastics, canvas, paper and fabrics, you can decide on the size, shape and design of large format printing. McLaren’s printing service have a rapid ink drying process so you can use your printed product as soon as it is completed. The large format is mostly used to produce flat items which can be hung on walls, but they can also be folded or made to stand freely.

Want to find out how much large format costs? Click here and check your FREE online quote.

Screen Printing?

Screen printing is a printing service where a fine material or a mesh is used to transfer an image onto another material.

What is screen printing ideal for?

  • Printing logos and graphics onto clothes
  • Fabric banners and posters
  • Printing on glass, plastic, metal, billboards, clothing, and mugs

How does screen printing work?

  • A thin mesh is stretched tightly over a frame, silk, or polyester, so it creates a screen
  • A negative of the content is printed onto the screen
  • Ink is rolled over the screen – avoiding areas blocked by a stencil
  • The ink then sets on the material and kept aside to dry

It is best used for printing repeat items at a mid-to-large scale. Screen printing is best for vibrant designs as they are handled manually. It’s not very cost-effective for small orders.

Have more questions about screen printing service? Leave us a message.

McLaren Digital Press has provided all kinds of printing services all over Australia for over three generations. Known for our environmentally friendly printing, McLaren Digital Press is your single point of contact for all printing services. Read more about us here.

For any enquiries, call us now at 03 8769 4000 or send in your printing service requirements here. Visit us in person during weekdays at our head office in Melbourne, Victoria.

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