Introduction to Printing Technologies 2015

31st March 2015

Leatherhead, UK

Price: £349 + VAT

Course Duration: 1 Day


Smithers Pira will be hosting a one-day print training session at its Leatherhead office on Tuesday 31 March, designed for print marketers and users, analysts, events producers, journalists and others with a general interest in printing and printed packaging.

Introduction to Printing Technologies aims to provide attendees with a basic grounding in the various printing techniques, as well as an understanding of their respective applications. It also seeks to provide some perspective on the status of print today, and how it is likely to develop in future in the context of the rise of digital communications and other technologies.

Introduction to Printing Technologies will be presented by Sean Smyth. Sean has spent over 25 years in the industry in senior technology positions for a variety of print businesses across the supply chain, in hands-on and consultancy roles. He has held senior management roles for several large and small print and print management companies where he applied systems and technology to improve efficiencies.

Sean has a strong background in appropriate application of technology to print, implementing prepress equipment, digital print systems, MIS and workflows to take time and cost out of the print supply chain. He has a PhD (chemistry) and gained his MBA before becoming Technical Director of Rexam in 1994, where the first colour digital presses in the UK were installed and where he was involved in their first CTP implementations. He has written many books and market studies on print markets and technologies, including Smithers Pira's Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2019.


9.30am: Registration

10.00am: Morning session

This session will include a brief history of print throughout the ages, before examining in more detail the nature of print and different types of printing used today.

Throughout the sessions Sean will provide a number of hand-outs to attendees to demonstrate differences in the results achieved by different printing techniques, and in the final part of the morning session he will explain how to identify individual processes.

  • Broad overview of print and printed packaging
    • History of print
    • Functions of print
    • The global print market – putting print in context
  • What is print
    • Colour theory for printing, prepress
    • Print workflow
    • Printing and the environment, sustainability
  • Different types of printing:
    • Lithography – sheetfed, webfed (coldset and heatset)
    • Flexography
    • Gravure
    • Screen (silkscreen)
    • Digital – Electrophotography and inkjet
  • Identifying each process

12.30pm: Lunch

1.15pm: Afternoon session

This session will focus on changes occurring in print technology as well as the broader printing industry, resulting from the adoption of digital printing technologies and also rising competition from competing digital media.

In addition, individual printing applications will be considered in turn, focusing on the most common printing techniques employed for each dependent upon factors such as quality, run length, geography and other factors. For each in turn, prospects for digital printing techniques will be highlighted.

  • The changing nature of printing – covering which processes are used for each, and why
    • Shift from analogue to digital
  • Print applications:
    • Publishing – books, newspapers, magazines, directories
    • Advertising – catalogues, direct mail, signage/PoS, inserts
    • Commercial print – business forms & ID, security, leaflets, brochures, greeting cards
    • Packaging and labels
  • Future prospects for print in a digital world.

3.45pm: End of course

Venue & Info


Smithers Pira

Cleeve Road


KT22 7RU

Satnav postcode: KT22 7SA