Printing Process



Since Gutenberg invented the printing press, modern printing has come a long way. The printing industry had an undeniable effect on the evolution of human societies, and contemporary history owes the rapid growth of knowledge to this technology. Although books are available in audio and electronic forms, paper books are still one of the main forms of reading. Every year, millions of books are published in different languages around the world with educational, fictional, scientific, analytical, entertainment and nonfiction topics. This issue has made the advancement of printing technology, much more vital.

Today, the printing process has a specific and complex process, and the specialists in this industry are trying to have the best quality printing products by knowing the latest devices and machines.

However, printing has specific steps, and for a book to be published, it must go through these steps:

  1. Design and layout
  2. Pre-printing procedures
  3. Lithography
  4. print
  5. binding
  6. Actions after printing
  7. packing

Three different production units usually offer these steps:

  • Lithography
  • printing house
  • binding

Therefore, domestic publishers are usually in contact with three production units to print their books and printed products and follow the printing process themselves.

While at Atico, printing, binding, and all these steps happen in one production unit. As a result, there is no need for publishers, and other printing customers to follow up on the printing process and communicate with other production units.

Here, we try to introduce each printing stage separately and describe what processes the printers apply to the book at each step so that it finally becomes the final product ready for sale.

Design and layout

Before printing, we must first know what we are printing. To print a book, we usually have the text, but having the text does not determine how many pages our book will have or what images the cover will have.

At this stage, design and page layout begins. Layout designers start the layout process according to several criteria, such as the target audience and the images that are going to be in the book. The page layout process determines the length of the lines, the page size, the font used in the text, and all the details on the pages.

In the design phase, the written text takes shape and appearance of the book and becomes a file ready for printing. For example, the cover is designed according to the content, genre, and target society.

By placing an order at Atico, you can leave the written text you want to the Atico designers. All these steps will be free if you print your file at Atico.

After the design and layout stage is finished, a general and approximate view of the final printed product is obtained, which can be presented to you, and you can see your finished product. This step prevents the waste of time and resources in producing an inappropriate product. After the customer’s approval, we get to the printing process by the devices.


The first step in the production of printed products is lithography.

The purpose of the lithography stage is to convert book pages or print files into aluminum plates, also called plates. These aluminum plates form a significant part of the printing process.

Original book pages or printed product files are first scanned and engraved on aluminum plates by special machines. This engraving is done with the help of zinc metal, so working with these devices requires expertise, experience, and caution, because it may be dangerous to health.

Aluminum plates are used in the following steps to print the book through them. For this reason, the accuracy and delicacy of the production of these aluminum plates have a significant impact on the printing process. For example, if a page is skewed, it will be printed as skewed in all printed products.

Before printing

After the lithography, the aluminum plates are ready to be printed, so the necessary preparations are made to set up the printing machines. The previous works are removed, then the printing process starts. If a supervisor is appointed to print the products from the customer, they will be notified to visit the printing process at this stage.


The aluminum plates in the lithography stage are transferred to the printing machines and placed in unique towers.

If the desired printed product is colored, a separate aluminum plate should be considered for each color. Printing machines read lithography plates and print them at high speed. Choosing the paper type and pagination is essential because the plates are taken according to the pagination. 

The desired paper and selected colors are placed in the printing machines, and the printing process begins with the help of lithographic plates. Modern printing machines turn raw and colorless sheets into sheets full of text and photos at high speed.

If your product is multi-colored, in its printing, each color is placed on the paper separately and in a step-by-step manner, and finally, it will be delivered to you with one or more colored paper.

The printing stage has complex processes. At this printing stage, you will have many sheets with identical patterns. Each machine prints one large sheet of paper. These papers contain several pages of the book, back, and front, the size of which can be different depending on the cut chosen by the customer.

In this process, from the stages of book printing in the printing house, print supervisors and print quality controllers randomly take out one of these large sheets to check the quality of the writing and color. Because during the offset printing stage, if the lithography plates shake or the calibration of the machine is disturbed, the print quality will decrease.

After this stage is also finished, the large sheets produced by the printing machines are sent in batches to the next step.


Binding is a process that is done on raw sheets of printing machines. In the previous step, we said that the results of printing machines are large sheets with repetitive patterns.

The first step to turning them into a book or other printed product is to cut them. Machines cut the sheets into more miniature sheets. After this, the smaller pages are folded by a folder machine, which eventually forms the book.

After the cutting and folding of pages are finished, a process called page-setting begins. In this process, the book’s pages are placed one after the other to make the order of the pages correct.

The machines of the binding department take one sheet from each set of folded sheets, put them together, and close them with a machine press.

After the layout is finished, we have several sorted sheets stacked on top of each other. So it’s time to connect the sheets. The customer’s choice does the type of connection of the sheets to each other. 

But if you want, Atico experts will also help you choose the best binding for your printed product. There are different types of binding, and the pages of books and printed products are connected in different ways:

  • sewing
  • glue
  • Sewing and glue (PUR)
  • wire (staple)
  • wire (spring)

Each of these categories has different types, the use of each of which differs from the other.

After sewing the pages of the books together, there remains a stage of binding, which we call binding. At this stage, binding is done depending on the customer’s choice and the type of book or printed product.

The book cover protects the book from water, dirt, and erosion and attracts the audience. The cover may be hardcover or paperback. After the binding, the books are ready to safely pass the binding stage and move on to the next steps.

There are different types of cover services. Today, there are many devices and tools for designing and displaying book covers as best as possible, which help publishers and producers to distinguish their books from other books.

After printing

Some of the processes related to this step may be done together with or after the binding. This printing stage can be considered a very new and modern stage that uses chemicals and up-to-date devices. In the “post-printing” stage, items are added to the book or printed products that are customer orders and have not been added to the reader in any printing stages. Let’s review some of these things together:

  • Ribbon
  • Index
  • Box
  • Bag
  • CD included if required
  • Book boxes (for book collections)
  • cover
  • Volume highlighting
  • Apply local UV and highlight UV on the cover
  • heat press
  • Covers for hardcover books
  • Beating on the cover

These items are almost all optional and chosen by the customer. The printing features added to the product in the post-printing stage make the book more beautiful and efficient for the consumer.


After all the above steps are completed, and the books are ready to be shipped to the customer, the packaging is done to prevent product damage during shipping. The packaging of books and printed products, called shrink, is done with special plastics.

At Atico, each book is packed four times to reduce the damage possible:

  • Single Packaging
  • Group packing
  • Bulk packaging
  • Shrink overall for truck loading and shipping

Finally, these books are placed in cartons and sent.


How to order book printing in Atico

Atico printing and publishing group has one of the largest printing houses in Iran and can deliver printed products with the highest possible quality and in the fastest time. The up-to-date machines in Atico Printing House and the excellent employees who operate them delicately have enabled Atico to offer various printing products and services to its customers.

Our experts and specialists at Atico not only supervise all printing processes and guarantee the quality of the final product but also advise customers to choose the best and most cost-effective printing solution before the process begins.

You can place your order by completing the print order form on the printing house’s website. Our experts at Atico will contact you within 24 working hours and receive additional information.

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Our experts at Atico answer your questions and guide you in choosing the best printing features. To contact Atiko and receive advice, fill out Atico's order registration form or enter your name and phone number here. We will contact you in less than 24 working hours.