March 14, 2024 The Print Authority

Types of Commercial Printing

Did you know that the commercial printing sector is estimated to be worth over $550 billion by 2030? The commercial printing field is growing all the time, as businesses always need effective printing partners to create their products. 

Commercial printing supports businesses in virtually every sector, giving you the top-tier products and the high-quality service you need to thrive. It helps both marketing and operations go smoothly and lets you focus on your work without needing to handle every aspect of the printing process yourself. 

Professional printing companies offer many types of commercial printing that cater to the needs of businesses. In this article, we’ll explain some of the most important aspects of commercial printing that can give your business a boost. 

Main Types of Commercial Printing

Commercial printing includes a wide range of services, including digital and large format printing, wide format printing, LED UV printing, lithography, flexography, screen printing, and business card printing. Here’s some information about each of these commercial printing techniques, as well as why they might be the right choice for your company. 

Digital Printing

Digital printing is a low-cost form of printing in which a material is printed directly from electronic files, either in black and white or in color. It is a great option for print orders that include many originals.

The digital printing process is a great option for your marketing materials, including posters, flyers, brochures, and mailers, as these products are typically full of a range of colors that grab readers’ attention, and digital printing can easily produce products containing many colors. However, while digital printing can create a wide range of colors, it might not be able to exactly reproduce ink colors, so keep this in mind as you’re deciding which type of printing you’d like to use. 

Digital printing can be the right option for you if you need a fast turnaround time, as it is a speedy process. Since printing companies can print your materials directly from computer files, they can often process your order and ship your products within a few days. Some professional printing companies even offer custom web-to-print portals for businesses that include pre-approval, so employees at every branch can instantly order the digital print items they need. This makes the commercial printing process even faster!

Large Format Printing

Large format printing consists of printing on materials that are larger than 12×18. They are printed on specialized presses that can handle these larger materials, such as digital poster machines or flatbed digital presses. 

Some of the most common large-format printing items include the following: 

Commercial large-format printing can create all of these print materials for you. 

Large format printing is one of the most helpful types of commercial printing, as it creates items that are too large for office printers to handle. Professional printing companies can easily print these items for you. They can also print on a range of materials, including rigid materials such as foam core for presentation signs and coroplast for yard signs. In short, if it’s large, professional printing companies can take care of it.

LED UV Printing

LED UV printing is a type of flatbed printing that uses a special method of chemical bonding. In short, when a special type of ink is exposed to UV radiation, it dries instantly. LED lights make UV printing even more efficient than regular UV printing, and they can be used on a wider range of surfaces. UV LED printing can even be used on glass, ceramic, and certain metals. 

The unique technical features of LED UV mean that the printing time is shorter because the ink dries instantly, and less ink is needed because there’s no evaporation of water from the ink (which would cause it to lose volume). It also allows for white ink, which is rare among types of printing. In short, it’s a good option if you’re looking for fast, versatile printing. 

Offset Lithography

Offset lithography, or offset printing, is one of the original and fundamental types of printing, and it is based on the idea that oil and water don’t mix. In offset printing, your design is transferred to thin plates that are rolled in water and ink, and the water sticks to the non-image area while the ink sticks to the image area. This ink is then transferred to your material. 

When choosing offset printing, you can opt for either spot color or four color process printing. In spot color printing, the ink is custom mixed for each project, which provides excellent color matching. 

Offset printing creates products that look beautiful and have solid ink coverage, and it produces the highest quality images and definitions. It can also handle a wide variety of papers. It’s a great choice for items that have a small number of colors or are printed in black and white. Business cards, event invitations, and products that will undergo finishing processes such as foil stamping, embossing, and UV coating are great candidates for offset printing. 

Since offset printing requires making a printing plate for every original that is printed, it is extremely cost-effective for orders that consist of many copies of a small number of originals. On the flip side, if you’re looking to print variable data, such as postcards printed to individual addresses, offset lithography most likely isn’t the option you’re looking for. Digital printing would probably be a better choice. 


Flexography is a special kind of printing process that uses a flexible relief plate. It can print extremely quickly, up to 2000 linear feet per minute. Therefore, flexography is perfect for items such as labels and packaging, which can be rolled through the machine and printed in the blink of an eye.

Because flexography is typically used for items such as stickers and labels, it is frequently combined with finishing processes such as varnishing and die-cutting, which is sometimes even integrated into the presses themselves. This makes it even easier to produce huge numbers of products quickly so that they’re ready for you to use.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is a common type of printing for apparel. In screen printing, each color used in your apparel is applied to a screen, which is then applied to the clothing. It can create a thick covering of ink, which leads to a durable design. 

Screen printing is a good choice for all of your apparel printing. However, despite what you may think, this technique isn’t limited to clothing or even fabrics; it also works on items such as beer koozies, wood, and even glass. In short, it’s a great way to make your apparel, merchandise, and other swag look great. 

Business Card Printing

Business cards are one of the essential types of commercial printing. These building blocks of business relationships are a must-have, and distributing professionally-printed business cards makes an impression on new contacts. First impressions matter so the quality of your business cards can make the difference between a successful new contact and a missed opportunity. 

Professional business card printing offers advantages you can’t get with in-house printing methods, including thicker cardstocks, embossing, and thermography. Commercial printing methods can even create business cards in custom shapes that show off your originality and ensure that new contacts remember you. 

A commercial printing company can print business cards for every employee, which ensures that each business card is high-quality and conforms to your brand standards. In short, professionally printed business cards are the key to starting business relationships on the right foot. 

Commercial Printing With The Print Authority

Here at The Print Authority, we specialize in full-service business printing that’s tailored to your organization and your needs. Our helpful team can advise you on which commercial printing technique is best for your project. We offer offset and digital printing services that will help your business thrive. We want to help you look good in print!

We offer all the types of commercial printing you’re looking for, including both traditional paper products and specialty products including trade show materials, apparel, and more. Our comprehensive services include design, print, and fulfillment, as well as custom online print portals that make printing to multiple locations easy. 

To get the commercial printing services you need, contact the Print Authority today!