What Are the Three Characteristics of Print Media?

You may have heard the term “print media” tossed around and wondered what that was. Well, “print media” refers to any medium that feeds off or is dependent on a print medium for reproduction – and there are actually three main types of print media that can be classified as such. Each medium has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to decide which type of media best suits your business needs. Let’s take a look at the three main types of print:

* Printed paper forms the basis of all printed media, and is probably the oldest form. It’s the most common format for printed advertisements and marketing materials. It’s also the cheapest medium in terms of printing cost, so it’s an affordable choice for a lot of businesses. The paper itself can be coated with ink, which can be transferred to a variety of different media types.

* Glossy photo paper is often used in advertisements and marketing materials, since it’s more likely to attract a person’s attention than something more flat and boring like newsprint. However, it doesn’t last very long, and wears down more quickly. If you need to use this type of print for an immediate purpose, opt for matte finish glossy paper. Also, the more images you want to include in your piece, the higher the cost. Photo paper comes in a variety of sizes, although a little note of versatility is usually called for. Generally speaking, there are only three media types that accept any photograph: regular, stretched and photo friendly.

* Film is basically a sheet of plastic with an electronic sensor on it. When the sensor senses movement, it creates a video and sometimes a picture. The most commonly used film forms are colored film, black and white, or traditional film negative. Although you can create copies of whatever you put into the film, it won’t last very long. As a result, don’t use it unless it’s absolutely necessary.

* Lithography uses inkjetting, which is a mechanical process of throwing a wafer of ink onto a surface (usually paper). It’s one of the oldest forms of printing but still favored among many designers today. Because of its permanence, this method of printing out paper is widely used on T-shirts and other garments. However, because of its limited color options, it’s used more for design work than actual printing. There are, however, newer media types that are more appropriate for pictures. Color stretchy films (which can also print to regular paper) are much cheaper and stretchable than they used to be, allowing designers to use higher quality inks on regular paper.

* Collage is a combination of art work and technology that creates images from multiple pieces of a product. You could say it’s a combination of digital photo’s and traditional print media. These types of print media are often used for t-shirt printing or special photo gifts.

The last three characteristics listed above are just some of the many available types of print media. Many companies use different methods, depending on the current situation or the client, but there is still a basic premise behind all of them: to transfer an image to paper. The printing process usually starts with an artist’s rendering or design, which is then transferred to the paper through a process known as offset printing. From there, the image is copied on a plate and sent to a printer.

The three characteristics listed above are just three of the many available print media types. Because of their versatility and their use in nearly every industry, they are often used together in the same project. Designers may prefer to create their work on canvas, whereas photo printers may prefer to print their images directly onto photo papers. Copywriters can also create professional looking ads and storyboards on standard paper while also using digital media to produce audio and video scripts. As you can see, there are a variety of ways that artists and professionals utilize print media today.