6 Types of Printing Methods That Are Used by W2P Industry

Types of Printing Methods
The history of printing dates back to the 6th century with the invention of woodblocks. Then came the rotary press, offset printing, and so on.

While there are different types of printing methods, the methods you choose depend on the type of products you sell.

In this post, we will list 6 types of printing methods that are used by the Web to Print Industry.

Digital Printing

Digital printing is a printing technique where you print a digital-based image directly onto a variety of media. It means that the image goes straight from a PDF file to a digital printer. You need not create any plates.

The benefits of digital printing include the following:

  • With digital presses, you get the advantage of having short print runs.
  • Since full-colour prints are done in one process without using plates, the delivery time is less.
  • Digital printing is a simple, environmentally friendly technique and helps achieve low-cost production.
  • Digital printing involves printing on different media, including plastic, fabric, acrylic, paper, and so on.

Flexography Printing

It is a roll-feed web printing process. In this method, you wrap a photopolymer plate around a rotating cylinder for each colour. This printing technique is common for printing in high volumes and label printing.

The products that you print on flexo presses include adhesive labels, cartons, shopping bags, plastic bags, gift wraps, wallpaper, etc.

A few pros of this printing method include the below points:

  • Flexography printing is popular for quick production processes.
  • It is a versatile process that accommodates a variety of ink types.
  • Flexographic printing equipment is also environmentally friendly.

On the downside, this printing method is very complex in nature and takes more time to set up. Additionally, the technique is more suitable for medium and large volumes. So, using this method for small jobs can be expensive.

Screen Printing

Here, you transfer a stencilled design onto a flat surface with the help of a mesh screen, ink, and a squeegee. The most commonly used screen-printed surfaces include fabric and paper. However, using specialized inks, you can also print onto wood, metal, glass, plastic, etc.

How does the process work? In screen printing, you create a stencil on a mesh screen. Then, you create an imprint of your design. This whole process is known as silk screen printing. Benefits of screen printing include the following:

  • Great speed and efficiency
  • Durability
  • Versatility
  • Cost-effective


The term engraving comes from the French word ‘engrave’ which means ‘dig in’. Engraving means incisions in writing. It works with ornaments, glass, and such. Some advantages of engraving are that it is a quick, durable, and cost-efficient process.

Popular types of engraving are as follows.

Etching – a process to cut logo, graphics, etc., onto glass and stone. Examples are crystal awards, wine bottles, marble pieces, and such.

Laser engraving – It is where you produce lettering logos into different materials like leather, wood, stone. Examples include cutting boards, laptop covers, name badges, etc.

Rotary engraving –  a process to permanently cut logos, designs, etc., into metals like brass, aluminium, gold, etc.

Transfer Printing

Transfer printing is the process of decorating pottery or other materials with the help of an engraved copper or steel plate. You can use transfer printing for printing on materials like porcelain and fabric. Following are some benefits of transfer printing:

  • The equipment for transfer printing costs less.
  • It enables great dye penetration into the fabric.
  • It doesn’t leave any adverse effect on the fabric.

Embroidery Printing

Embroidery is all about stitching patterns and logos on the garment. You can do so using an embroidery machine using threads. You can use embroidery on various products like t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, and such.

Embroider logos are durable, the machine is cost-effective, enabling you to use different colours, and helps give a professional look to a garment.

Bonus Section – Printing Method Based on Products

To help you choose a reliable printing technique based on your product offerings, we have added this section.

  • Printing Method for Mugs – dye sublimation printing, direct screen printing, litho screen printing, digital printing.
  • Printing Method for T-shirts – screen printing, direct to garment, heat transfer, dye-sublimation, plastisol transfer printing.
  • Printing Method for Mobile Cover – UV and sublimation are the most common methods businesses that sell phone covers use.
  • Printing Method for Stickers – Popular printing techniques for stickers include screen printing, digital printing, offset printing, flexography printing.
  • Printing Method for Packaging – lithography, flexography, digital printing, rotogravure, silk screen printing.
  • Printing Method for Glassware – Digital UV printing, digital ceramic printing,

How to Start Your Journey with Web to Print

Many printing businesses that want to remain competitive are turning to Web to Print technology. It enables them to easily take their business online, sell customizable products, and take care of different aspects, including inventory, orders, print jobs, etc.

According to research, the W2P market is likely to reach $1.5 Billion by 2027. If you are one such entrepreneur looking to transform your business from Web to Print, this is the right time.

Web to Print Storefront enables you to launch your store in very little time. You need not take the pains of building a website from scratch. Ready Web to Print Storefront comes with the entire eCommerce flow and features you need to manage your online business.

Based on your business model B2B or B2C, you can customize the store with various storefront themes. With powerful backend features, you can handle every aspect of your business from a single panel.

If you are just getting started, you can also leverage end-to-end Web to Print Software solutions. It includes a ready store and a fully functional Product Design Tool that enables you to sell customizable products.

Using the tool, your customers can add their favourite quote, message, upload personal images, etc. Plus, they can view their designs from all sides before making the final purchase. You can also set dynamic pricing based on printing methods, colour, size, quantity, etc.


As Web to Print advances, several printing techniques are being adopted by businesses. The methods discussed in this post are commonly used and quite popular. Depending on your business requirements, you can also combine different printing methods.

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