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Monthly Archives: November 2022

    • What is Lithography & How Does it Work?

      What is Lithography & How Does it Work?

      Lithography is one of the most well-known, time-honoured methods of printing. Used for a broad range of printing needs, this medium produces clean, interesting prints and is very popular for these reasons, amongst others.

      In this post, Adventa defines lithography and how it works. We will also explore the history of lithography and look at alternative printing methods and how they compare to lithographic prints. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about lithography.

      What is Lithography?

      Lithography is a method of printing that is ideal for long printing runs. Often used to print packaging, books, posters, magazines and more, this medium is well suited to a wide range of applications.

      The word ‘lithography’ is derived from the Greek words lithos, which means ‘stone’ and graphein, meaning ‘to write’. As the lithographic process originally involved scoring a flat stone with a pencil, this name is perfectly expressive of the method.

      Lithography History

      Lithography has a fascinating history. This method of printing was invented in 1796 by a German author and actor, Alois Senefelder. Senefelder accidentally discovered this printing method. He found that he could reproduce his play scripts by writing them on slabs of limestone with a greasy pencil and then printing them onto another medium with rolled-on ink.

      With that, the lithograph technique was born. It was mainly used for musical scores and maps at that point before more uses were discovered and developed.

      How Does Lithography Work?

      Lithography is a planographic printing method based on the fact that oil and water cannot mix, which is called immiscibility. A special type of pencil is used to write or draw on a stone or metal plate with a smooth surface. The surface is treated to repel the ink where it has not been scored by the pencil. Ink is then rolled onto the surface and either transferred onto a rubber plate first or directly printed onto paper or alternative material. The rubber plate (or blanket) is generally used for printing on material that is not completely flat and smooth.

      What Are The Alternatives To Lithography?

      There are a number of different printing methods available, and each method suits different applications best. The common alternatives to lithography are:

      • Digital Printing
      • Flexography
      • Screen Printing
      • LED UV Printing

      How Does Lithography Compare To Other Printing Approaches?

      As mentioned above, different types of printing methods suit different applications. Below we explore how lithography compares to other common printing methods.

      Digital Printing vs Litho Printing

      Simply, lithographic printing uses wet ink and printing plates, and digital printing uses inks and a press similar to a large office printer. Lithography requires more money and time to set up but is very affordable to run from then on, so it is generally used for longer runs. Digital printing, on the other hand, is most convenient for shorter runs, as it is cheaper to set up. However, the unit price becomes more expensive when compared to lithography’s long runs.

      Flexo Printing vs Lithography

      Flexographic printing is a printing technique that uses flexible relief plates. The plates act like a large stamp, transferring images onto boards. Flexo printing differs from litho printing primarily in the quality of the print. Litho printing is better for full-colour printing and can accommodate more detailed patterns and finish options.

      Screen Printing vs Lithographic Printing

      Screen printing, also called silk screening, involves transferring ink through a fine mesh screen onto the substrate. The ink, or dye, is applied in specific locations on the garment or alternative material, as some areas are made impermeable to the ink with a blocking stencil. In the past, silk screens were used.

      Screen printing is a slower and more expensive process than lithography. In addition to this, litho printing results in more defined, detailed prints than silk screening.

      LED UV Printing Vs Litho Printing

      LED UV printing is similar to other methods, but with this option, ED-UV inks are dried (cured) instantly using UV light. With LED UV printing, ink set-off is eliminated, making this an extremely clean printing method. This printing method is more expensive than lithography and requires more materials, but it works excellently for large runs, and the immediacy can be very beneficial.

      We are experts in printing and manufacturing. If you’d like to get more of a handle on what we do and how we do it, get in touch.

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    • Types of Photo Printing - the Complete Guide from Adventa

      Advancements in technology have increased the range of photo printing possibilities available to us. When it comes to printing anything, be it special memories, work projects or artwork, it’s crucial to understand the different types of photo printing methods so you can choose the right solution for your needs. In this post, Adventa explores the various types of photo printing, and the options best suited to different applications. 

      What Does Photo Printing Mean?

      Photo printing involves the process of transferring an image onto different materials, such as paper, canvas and clothing, using specialised printers. This allows an individual to create copies of images and display, preserve and share them with others. 

      Types of Photo Prints

      There are four main types of photo printing options. These are digital printing, lenticular printing, sublimation printing, and giclee printing. Each has different advantages and applications, which we will look at in more detail below.

      1) Digital Printing

      Digital printing uses a high-volume laser or inkjet printer to print detailed images. This high-quality option is popular for both its ease of use and its impressive output. Digital printing is well suited to a wide variety of uses ranging from small to large scale, simple to extremely detailed. There are three main types of digital printing methods: laser, offset and inkjet printing. 

      1.1)  Laser Printing

      Laser printing involves an electrostatic digital printing process. The process involves repeatedly passing a laser beam back and forth over a negatively-charged cylinder called a "drum", to define a differentially-charged image. The laser printer uses an electrical charge to attract toner particles onto a roller, which is then transferred onto paper and fused using heat. 

      Laser printing is quick and consistent, producing precise images and text. This makes it well-suited to various applications, especially office documents, reports, and graphics. However, it does not work well for photograph replication.

      1.2) Offset Printing

      Offset printing, also known as offset lithography, is a widely used commercial printing process or method. It involves transferring images from metal plates onto rubber rollers or blankets and then onto the printing surface - usually paper. The print media doesn’t come into direct contact with the metal plates.

      This indirect printing method is known for creating consistent, high-quality results, which makes it ideal for large-scale printing, such as newspapers, magazines, brochures, and packaging. 

      1.3) Inkjet Printing 

      Inkjet printing is a very popular digital printing method. During the process, tiny ink droplets are propelled onto a printing surface (usually paper or fabric) to create the image. Inkjet prints are known for reproducing vibrant colours and intricate details, which makes this type of print ideal for a variety of applications ranging from high-resolution photos to office documents. 

      2) Lenticular Printing

      Lenticular printing is a specialised technique that's used for images where the photographer wants to create an illusion of depth or movement. The process involves the use of lenticular lenses, which function like magnifying glasses, to enlarge certain elements of the image. This results in the image changing shape depending on the angle you’re looking from. 

      Lenticular printing's primary advantage is the optical illusion it creates. This makes it very popular for marketing and promotional items, such as posters, business cards, and product packaging, where the aim is to captivate and engage viewers. However, this type of printing is fairly expensive due to the specialised equipment and materials needed. 

      3) Sublimation Printing

      Sublimation printing is generally used to print designs onto garments but can be used for a broad range of applications. Sublimation printing requires specialised equipment, including a sublimation printer, certain inks and heat. 

      The process starts by printing the design onto specialised paper. Heat is then applied to the design, which opens up the pores of the fabric. This is where the magic happens: the ink, when exposed to heat, turns to gas - this is often done using a heat press. Then, with applied pressure from the heat press, the ink cools and returns to a solid form. This process combines the ink with the fabric permanently, making it less prone to fading.

      Sublimation printing is a versatile printing style but is most commonly used for sportswear, promotional items, and personalised gifts. While it’s known for creating vibrant prints on clothing, it’s important to note that sublimation printing works best on polyester or polymer-coated substrates, not natural fibres. 

      4) Giclee Prints

      Giclee printing is most often used to reproduce fine art into prints. Through the use of enhanced technology, as well as specialised pigments, ink and paper, inkjet printers use small spraying devices that can match the colour of the original and apply ink precisely. 

      This accuracy gives artists an opportunity to reproduce their art precisely in a high-quality print. Giclee prints are also known for their longevity, as they do not easily fade. This method is most often used when making lower quantities of a high-end print.

      TL;DR - Types of Photo Printing

      There are many different options for printing photographs and graphics, namely digital, lenticular, sublimation and giclee printing. Each of these methods uses certain materials and offers its own pros and cons. Now that you understand the different types of photo printing, you can choose the one that is best suited to your printing needs.

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    • 10 Benefits of Using UK Manufacturing Companies

      10 Benefits of Using UK Manufacturing Companies

      With quality and commitment becoming increasingly important for businesses and consumers, there is a push to use more UK manufacturers. The “Made in the UK” sticker is becoming a major symbol of quality across the country, which is a trend that has our full support.

      In this post, Adventa looks at the benefits of using British manufacturers for your products, parts and more. After reading this blog, you should be able to weigh up these benefits against the rationale of why you are using your current supplier.

      10 Benefits of Manufacturers in the UK

      There are many advantages of using a manufacturer in the country of your operation, and even more so when working with companies that are held to high UK standards. Below are the ten main advantages of using manufacturing companies in the UK:

      1. Improved communication

      Working with a supplier in another country can quickly become frustrating. With differences in time zones, languages, and domestic markets, it can be very challenging to be on the same page as to your needs.

      Being able to meet in person, have a conversation over the phone, or remain in regular contact is extremely beneficial. In addition to this, a local manufacturer will have a complete understanding of your market.

      2. Smaller minimum order quantities

      When using an international manufacturer, you are often required to order large quantities that can fill containers or trucks. Using manufacturers in the UK allows you to place small, regular orders instead, so you don’t have to sit with dead stock if you make an error in your order quantity. This gives organisations increased flexibility and cash flow control.

      3. Product development and innovation

      Often overlooked but a huge strength at Adventa!  Working with a UK manufacturer gives you access with expertise in both product design and lean manufacturing.  Any leading UK manufacturer will consider how they can improve on an existing product both in terms of their own production efficiency but also in terms of the users efficiency and consumer appeal.  It is well known fact that many of the world’s biggest producers are good at copying put poor at product design. This is even more important if you are wanting a custom product!

      4. Shorter lead times

      Along with reduced transport costs, lead times are also reduced. UK suppliers can produce products faster because the goods simply spend less time being transported to you. Instead of being loaded onto a ship to be transported across the Atlantic, products are simply sent by trucks or trains. The research and development phase is also more streamlined, as you can communicate better with suppliers.

      5. Reduced carbon footprint

      As less movement is needed to transport your products to your doorstep, making use of UK manufacturers will also reduce your organisation's carbon footprint. UK manufacturers are also held to the country's carbon emissions standards, so less pollution is produced. Lastly, many UK suppliers, like Adventa, are focusing on their own sustainability. Making use of sustainable suppliers will make your products more environmentally friendly too.

      6. Greater quality control

      As with carbon emissions, UK manufacturers are held to UK standards in their production processes too. The UK has strict laws in place that ensure that products are being made consistently with quality control measures to the approved industry standards. Other countries do not have the same level of attention to quality.

      In addition to this, with UK manufacturers, you can visit the factory and inspect the supply chain yourself. This gives you greater control over the quality of your products.

      7. Support the UK economy

      Working with British manufacturers helps create employment opportunities, injecting more money into the country, and allowing people to afford to buy more products and services. Leading UK manufacturers are forced to invest in automation to remove as much manual labour as possible.  As these factors create a cycle of income and expense, they are very beneficial for the UK economy.

      8. Less risk in the supply chain

      Global events including Covid-19, the Suez Canal drama, conflict in Ukraine and more have put serious strain on supply chains. Many businesses have had to deal with parts and products being delayed or never arriving at all. Coupled with increasing awareness of worrying concerns of unethical practices makes working with a UK manufacturer a dramatically lower risk, so the flow of your construction, production or creation does not have to be interrupted.

      9. The origin of the product is clear

      More and more consumers are starting to really care about where their products come from. With bad labour practices being highlighted across the globe, buying products from genuine UK manufacturers helps give consumers peace of mind that the products have been ethically produced.

      10. Consumers want “Made in the UK” products

      This is true for not only UK citizens, but throughout the world. UK manufacturing is known for its quality as well as the country's fair labour practices. Therefore, both domestic and international consumers are willing to pay more for a British-made product. Products are, therefore, more competitive against their foreign produced counterparts.

      As an established manufacturer themselves, Adventa are a great exponent of British production and manufacturing. If you’d like to understand more about the benefits of working with a localised manufacturer, get in touch. Even better arrange a visit to our highly automated factory, you will be amazed at how we even run our factory totally unattended – genuine ‘lights out production’! 


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    • Pros & Cons Of Sourcing Products From China

      Pros & Cons of Sourcing Products From China

      Updated 28/03/2024

      Over the past few decades, China has grown as an economic powerhouse, with many international companies sourcing products from there. However, between the pandemic and rising political tensions, many UK companies are cutting ties with China, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

      Whether you’re an established company or a new entrant to the market, it’s worth considering whether it’s better business to import from China or whether the outsourcing of products has become too much of a hassle. To help you with this, we’ve listed the pros and cons of sourcing products from China.

      Cons of Sourcing From China

      While many businesses successfully source their products from China, it doesn’t come without its challenges. These should be carefully weighed against the positives to determine whether this would be the best strategic move for your business.

      Finding a Manufacturer is Tough

      Finding and cultivating a relationship with a factory owner requires time and money. Once you’ve found several potential Chinese suppliers, you still need to negotiate to see if they’re willing to produce your products to a standard you find acceptable. Many Chinese manufacturers only focus on million-unit orders, which can make things difficult if you're looking to have smaller volumes produced.

      Logistical Challenges

      When you choose to source products from China, you also need to account for international lead times, as your inventory has to be packed, shipped and brought through customs before being transported to your warehouses or retail stores. This shipping can also involve significant costs, depending on your distribution network. 

      Unforeseen events like natural disasters, geopolitical issues, or global events (like the COVID-19 pandemic) can disrupt supply chains. Working with a courier or freight forwarder can also add logistical challenges to the process, and UK customs need to be considered, too. 

      This can often make local UK suppliers much more attractive as it’s easier to get new stock delivered to you in a shorter period of time. Additionally, you won’t be incurring the costs of international shipping fees.

      At Adventa, we produce a range of products locally in the UK. Our central location, coupled with our fast assembly lines and world-class packaging, make us a supplier of choice for UK-based businesses. However, we can also ship products to every other continent across the globe.

      Unexpected Costs

      When importing from China, you have to consider expenses like import VAT, customs clearance, an import licence, shipping costs and more. Most goods imported from China to the UK will be subject to the full rate of customs duty, which also adds to costs. 

      These complicated and occasionally unexpected costs can add up, and make it trickier to ensure all costs are accounted for from the beginning. 

      Negative Associations of “Made in China”

      It’s a known fact that “Made in China” often brings negative connotations to mind, such as poor quality and low prices. This can sometimes impact your markup, and the customer’s general idea of your products.

      When producing your products locally, you can take advantage of the fact that your products are ‘made in the UK’. This can be used as a unique selling point that indicates quality, and can also potentially allow you to charge a higher price, increasing your profit margin.

      Language Barriers

      The issue with working in a foreign country such as China is the language barrier. Not all Chinese factory owners are proficient in English. And even if you have a translator assisting you, there’s still the possibility of misunderstandings.

      Quality Control Issues

      When importing from another country, ensuring consistent product quality can be a challenge, especially when dealing with unfamiliar suppliers. Quality control may require regular inspections, testing, and communication to maintain product standards.

      Intellectual Property Concerns

      China has faced criticism for intellectual property theft and counterfeiting issues. Businesses must take measures to protect their intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

      Tariffs and Trade Barriers

      Changes in trade policies, import duty and regulations can impact the cost-effectiveness of importing from China. Businesses must stay informed about import tax, trade policies and potential changes that may affect their operations.

      Environmental and Ethical Concerns

      Some Chinese manufacturers may not adhere to the same environmental and ethical standards as businesses in other countries. As such, ensuring ethical sourcing practices and environmental responsibility can be challenging.

      When working with a UK manufacturer, you can trust that, at the very least, the supplier will abide by the UK's environmental regulations. Some companies, like Adventa, are committed to reducing environmental impact and continually improving environmental performance as an integral part of their business strategy and operating methods. For companies and consumers alike, this is a preferable option.

      Pros of Importing from China

      While there are some significant drawbacks to importing from China, there are advantages that make this a lucrative business option.

      Low Production Costs

      One of the biggest reasons why companies choose to source their products from China is that the production cost versus output is highly favourable. Lower production costs result in lower prices for your business and customers, which could convince them to purchase your products. Lower prices also contribute to higher profit margins, which is an attractive deal for businesses. However, these lower production costs should always be considered alongside quality.

      Opportunities for Market Expansion

      Sourcing products from China opens up the door to international expansion, as you can market your goods to the local market. Once you’re in the country and manufacturing your products there, introducing and supplying your products becomes far easier.

      Wide Range of Products

      China is a global manufacturing hub with a diverse range of products for almost all industries. It offers a vast array of products and components, making it an easy option for sourcing various items. If your business is prepared to import a full container load of each product, this can be very useful.

      Manufacturing Expertise 

      China has developed advanced manufacturing capabilities and expertise in producing a wide range of products. Many Chinese factories are experienced in mass production, offering economies of scale. China also has a well-established and efficient supply chain infrastructure, which can result in quicker production times, streamlined logistics, and faster delivery of goods.

      A Summary: Sourcing Products From China

      For decades, businesses have sought lower costs and higher profits by sourcing their products from China. However, in the wake of the pandemic and rising political tensions, many businesses have started backpedalling, choosing to manufacture locally instead.

      Each business is unique and should carefully weigh the pros and cons. While importing from China can result in expansion and increased profit, it can be challenging regarding costs, finding a supplier or a trustworthy freight forwarding company, and more.

      Here at Adventa, we are a UK-based manufacturer specialising in supplying customisable office and decor products. Our location and extensive experience make us an ideal choice as your supplier. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch with our team.

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    • 5 Innovations That Will Keep Photo Printing Alive

      5 Innovations That Will Keep Photo Printing Alive

      Today, people are taking more pictures than ever, but fewer of them end up as printed photographs. Still, technical innovation is changing aspects of the print industry and injecting it with new energy and possibilities, keeping photo printing alive.

      In this post, Adventa shares the five most innovative photo printing technologies and products that are keeping the print industry interesting.

      5 Photo Printing Innovations

      These key innovations will prove important for the photo print industry as it goes forward.

      1. Mobile Ordering Platforms: The growth of mobile ordering platforms makes it possible for smartphone users to easily purchase photo and canvas prints and albums, suggesting mobile will be a big part of the photo industry's future.
      2. Album Design Software: New software helps streamline album design, giving customers more creative capabilities in photo layout and graphic design. The ability to crop, edit and add graphics and captions to photos gives users artistic options.
      3. Artificial Intelligence Software: AI photo editors can detect a subject in an image, enhance it, remove, and replace the background around it, apply effects, colour correct, and more. This makes it fun and easy to alter and adjust photos as the user desires.
      4. Web-to-Print Commerce: Customers can now order an endless list of personalised merchandise online, including everything from photo reproductions, décor items, apparel, mugs, and gifts.
      5. New Photo Products: While individual print sales have declined, wall art, stretched canvas, adhesive fabric decals, and large prints are growing in popularity. People are no longer printing every photograph they take, but they are printing their favourites out on larger and more interesting products.

      Innovative Photo Printing Products

      We have an excellent range of products that will allow your customers to use their creativity to make photo-printed objects that they love. Perfect as gifts for friends and family or even company-branded merchandise, our bulk and trade quantity products are made with high-quality materials to bring joy to your customers for years to come. 

      Below are some great products to take advantage of these innovative photo printing trends:

      1. Keyrings and Magnets: Our range of shaped, rectangular, metal and reclaimed plastic keyrings and magnets give your customers many options to keep their loved ones close to them at all times.
      2. Desk Décor: With most people spending around eight hours at their desks, our personalisable desk décor is the perfect way to spruce up that space with a favourite photo.
      3. Wall Art: With canvas prints, glass mounts, vision walls and more available, our easily personalised wall art will brighten up any home or office space.
      4. Seasonal Decorations: Our baubles, snowglobes and other assorted festive decorations offer the perfect opportunity to get creative with your photographs.
      5. Educational and Craft Products: Want to get the little ones involved in some photo printing creativity? Our range of educational and craft-focused products is a great way to get children creative, and the functional end products will decorate their desks for the school year.
      6. Desk and Stationery: Children aren’t the only ones who can get creative with their stationery - we have a desk and stationery range for adults too. So you can get artistic with your desk supplies and showcase your talents or your personality to your colleagues.

      Conclusion on Photo Printing Innovations

      While people may not be printing every photograph they take anymore, they are getting creative with the way that they use their photos. People want to feel connected to the ones they love and want to make their space beautiful and unique.

      That’s why our personalisable product range is so popular. It allows people to create whatever they want, on small or large products, from keyrings to large wall canvases. The options are endless, and interesting options will keep the print business alive.

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