Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What is Green Printing?

Printing is necessary to a growing business. Although digital communications are more popular these days, there will still be times when you need to go the printing way. This will require you to use paper and printer to communicate your message, but you can’t just use any paper and printer. You have to look for “green” options.

When we say green printing, we actually mean using recycled paper, soy ink, and carrying out environment-friendly printing practices. Recycling is a fairly popular practice these days. Experts believe that every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. This is why more and more companies today use recycled paper. It’s important, though, that you look for the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) logo or certification on the recycled papers you buy to ensure that the forest products come from responsible sources.

Vegetable or soy-based inks are great alternatives to petroleum-based inks. They have low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) so they don’t release a lot of harmful chemicals to the atmosphere. Soy is stable material that comes from soybeans while vegetable-based inks come from several sources such as linseed, tung, castor, canola, and safflower.   

Green printing is a fairly new practice, but lots of literatures and articles have been written about it. A simple Internet research will give you plenty of resources which can help you decide on the best green practices to adapt.

By practicing green printing, you are sending a powerful message to your audience that you care about the environment. Hopefully, when people see your materials they will be motivated to do the same.    

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fundamentals of Typography

Imagine a TV ad, magazine print, or website without text. Sure, images can communicate a lot of details to viewers, but in order to communicate the exact information, text is necessary. It’s the primary way of passing information to readers; it can raise passion, grab attention, and intrigue readers. Therefore, it’s something that every printer or designer should know about. If you’re new in the design or printing industry, here’s a brief guide on the commonly used terms to get you started.


Wikipedia defines typography as the “art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible.” It is the design and use of typefaces and includes calligraphy, digital media, and web pages among others.    


This refers to the characters (letters, numbers, etc.) used in design that shares a common style. Samples of typefaces are Arial, Courier, and Times New Roman.


This refers to a set of type in a specific style and size. Essentially, the set of fonts refers to the typeface; the variations of the design are the typeface family; and the specific style and size is the font. For instance, Helvetica is the typeface family, Helvetica italic is the typeface, and Helvetica italic 10-point is the font.      


This is the line where letters sit, below which descenders extend.


This refers to the space between lines of text which is measured in points. The distance is measured from one baseline to the next.

This refers to the size of a font, so when we say 12pt, this refers to the full height of the text block.


This is basically used to measure lines of text and contains 12 point units of measure.


This is the adjustment of space between characters to increase legibility.  



This refers to adding space between characters.   

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tracing the Roots of 3D Printing

There have been talks of 3D printing being used to make practically everything, from houses to rifles to human organs. Some even say that this technology can be used to make food sustainable in countries where food reserves are low. Sounds like science-fiction, right? For a long time, it was, but not anymore. Believe it or not, there have been researches about this technology since the 1980s and the most groundbreaking of them all is when Charles Hull created the first commercial 3D printer in 1984. Since then, a lot of studies have been made that have helped develop 3D printing. In the next few years, don’t be surprised if this printer reaches your home.  

The idea behind 3D printing is very simple. It makes use of a digital file and transforms it into a physical object. Still, while the idea may be simple, the process itself is very complex. Nonetheless, it’s a magnificent technology that can be valuable in various fields even if it’s not getting enough credit for its potential. It may be the most significant invention of the 20th century, but we still need a lot of time to perfect the technology.    

This amazing infographic from Printerinks traces the rich history of 3D printing and how far it has gone, especially in terms of human organ transplants.