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Design & Technology

Printing, finishing, packaging, and paper engineering.

The main printing techniques are screen printing, block printing and photocopying. Letterpress, lithography, flexography, and gravure printing are used in commercial manufacturing. Finishing techniques enhance the final product.

Different packaging materials perform different functions. There is certain information that must be provided on packaging by law.

Mechanisms are used for moving parts in pop-up books and cards.

Printing 1: screen printing, block printing and photocopying

Screen printing

screen printing process

The screen is made from a fine mesh material fixed to a wooden frame. A stencil [stencil: A sheet of paper, celluloid, or other material in which a design has been cut, so that when ink is passed over the sheet the design is reproduced on the surface below. ] is placed under the screen and ink forced through the stencil onto the material below. Screen printing with stencils is best for blocks of colour.

Manual flatbed screenprint process

A print of a red crown on a white sheet is produced by placing a crown-shaped screen over the sheet, then using a red-coated squeegee on the screen.
  1. Mesh is stapled to a wooden or metal frame
  2. Masking tape stuck around underside of the screen
  3. Stencil design cut
  4. Stencil placed under frame but above paper
  5. Line of ink placed at one end of screen
  6. Use squeegee to draw ink across screen, pressing firmly
  7. Carefully lift screen
  8. Evaluate and repeat

Screen printing is used to print small runs of posters, display boards, fabrics, wallpaper and control panels of electronic products.

Video: Screen printing

Watch this Learning Zone Broadband Class Clips video to find out how different screen screen printing methods are used to decorate fabric.

Block printing

Man in process of block printing

Indian block printing

Shapes are cut into blocks made of wood, metal or linoleum. Ink is applied to the block, and the block is pressed onto paper.

Block prints can be quite detailed if the block is well made, but normally only one colour is used. The process is good for making positive and negative images and repeating patterns.

Block printing is used to print small and medium sized runs of greetings cards, wallpaper, paper tablecloths and similar products.


Photocopiers can enlarge and reduce images, and process paper, card and clear acetate [acetate: A type of transparent plastic film. ]. Different paper sizes can be used. They can also be used for back-to-back copying and to collate multiple copies.

Colour photocopiers give good results but the copies are more expensive.

Photocopiers can be used to:

  • arrange multiple small drawings on a page
  • make multiple versions of the same drawing (eg to make a pattern)
  • enlarge or reduce drawings
  • copy reference material (if copyright [copyright: gives the creator of an original piece of work control over its publication, distribution and adaptation ] allows)
  • copy artwork sheets to maintain a consistent style in a project folder

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