To understand and to get the greater benefits of the new print technology, one must be also familiar with the customary printing technicalities and methodology, and how it is different from one another.
Litho printing is based on the principle that "water and grease do not mix" (P&D 2003), a process in which flexible aluminium or plastic printing plates are used. These printing plates are often having rough surfaces covered with photosensitive emulsion in which photographic negative of an image rest. After the plate's exposure to light, the emulsion produces a reproduction of the original image in reverse. The plate will then chemically treated to make the positive image sensitive to printing inks and later will be attach to printing press cylinders. There are two types of rollers; Water rollers are use to apply water on blank portions of the plate and ink rollers to cover the positive image area where the picture will appear. It is not possible to print these images directly on paper because the paper will become excessively wet. This is the reason why the plate rolls against a drum covered with rubber blanket to press away the water and accept the ink. Following this procedure, the paper can now safely roll against the blanket drum while the images transfer to the paper. This procedure is known as "offset" printing, where images are initially transferred to a rubber drum. For colour consideration, different colour requires separate plates thus a four colour process needs four different plates (Old Street Press 2007).
Since litho printing requires costly and scrupulous creation of plates, it is only good with large printing requirements. Furthermore, the cost associated with multi-coloured print is only acceptable when thousands of copies are required. Therefore, the more copies you can make using the same plate, the better. Another printing technique is Letterpress; it is an old invention where inks are place on a raised surfaces. It is normally a set of inked letters in a frame where the paper will rest and press. In modern letterpress printing, rollers are use to carry ink over the face of the type (Old Street Press 2007).
To understand the work involved in laying out artworks and printing, a desktop designer must be aware of the workflow process (see Fig. 4) and image processing techniques. If an optimized image conformed to the CMYK image format and colour guidelines, it can be simply imported to the layout program and arrange them with the text. The text can come from a word processing application (copy and paste), or inputted directly into the layout program. An artwork or a page layout program is capable of assembling and putting together text, graphic, and images. QuarkXpress and Adobe Indesign are the two most popular and favourite program in desktop designs. However, this does not mean you cannot use other programs such as Corel Draw etc. In fact, you can use any layout software available for as long as they are conforming to the requirements (Ottewill 2004).
An artwork program must be capable of allowing desktop designers to change or specify process colour. It should have a graphic and image import facility capable of importing various image format such as CMYK EPS, TIFF, and Photoshop images. More importantly, it should produce a file with