In the '80-ies of the 20th century a new decade of digital books printing services was started. Printing on digital equipment takes place without applied pressure and without printing form unlike in the case of book printing on the classic machinery with forms that may be used either once or many times. In 1940 an image of the previously obtained photographic picture was duplicated and then this type of print was called photographic copy. As early as in the '90-ies, so called flexography (intaglio) was started. The printing elements were positioned below the non-printing surface. After application of the paint of the printing form, it is scraped off the non-printing surface. Finally the paint is directly transferred on paper and thus a print is created. In 1880's offset, industrial equivalent of planographic printing, was started; in this printing technique the image is transferred with an intermediary cylinder. Eighty years before litho printing, (included in the planographic book printing) was introduced, with image duplication on the lithographic stone. Before that book printing was done with relief, letterpress technique from metal forms using inflexible, hard forms and thick and limy printing paints. The relief book printing technique originates from one of the oldest printing forms. The first such prints appeared as early as 300 A.D.
Throughout the years, printing developed and evolved just like printing stages, which changed depending on the new trends in books printing services. In the simplest of therms, the process of obtention of a polygraphic product can be divided into 2 stages: preproduction and production. Before the printed book reaches the hands of a reader, it must have a suitable graphic and letterpress form. At this stage, the text is not only entered and formatted, but also exposed to produce an image.
The next stage is copying the materials, prepared at the earlier printing process stage. The most common technique in books printing services is offset – pantographic print. It is cost effective and the technology is easily available and fast. It has several disadvantages such as low brightness and saturation of colours and it also requires flat surface. Other techniques include letterpress and flexography, rotogravure and screen printing. After this printing stage, the polygraphic products and refined in bindery. It is the last stage of the printing process, after which the printed book finds its way to book shops.