Have you ever wondered what goes behind printing a flyer or the packaging of your favourite chocolate ? We didn’t know too, until we visited Copy Shoppe (Sumukh Prints and Graphics).

A few days back, the team at Aadyaa went on a field visit to Copy Shoppe’s offset printing site to get a one on one experience of how printing works. We wanted to have a look on how the brochures, cards, pamphlets, diaries and the other products we design gets printed.

We go to the store, walk to the chocolate section, pick up our favourite chocolate, pay for it at the billing, eat it and then throw out the wrapper. We hardly think twice about the work that goes behind printing the details on the wrapper. We just think of it as a protective layer for our chocolate and nothing more than that. However this perspective changes once you visit a printing factory.

On our visit there, we saw huge machines – sizes of which one can’t even imagine, high stacks of papers ranging from all sizes, tall bottles of various ink colours, people working tirelessly to reach perfection. Mr Venkatesh, the proud owner of Copy Shoppe took out the the time to talk to us about his business. Being into the printing industry for more than 20 years, he has immense knowledge on every aspect of the industry and still has the passion to know more.

Having a bachelors in commerce, he wasn’t sure on which industry to get into after graduation. He joined a printing company called Colour Splash as a delivery boy. He started off at a time when colour photocopying was just launched in India. Having no knowledge of the printing industry he began his journey with the passion to learn. He learnt everything there is to know about printing by seeing and working with the company. He learnt it all on his own with his own interest. He says “I was very inquisitive to see how they would print everything and was very eager to know what the clients were talking about. I learnt how the machines work just by seeing how others would operate it”. Mr Venkatesh touched a printer for the first time only when he had learnt everything about it which was the result of his interest in the job.

While we were there, Mr. Venkatesh patiently explained to us the whole process of offset printing and it’s works. He told us the difference between offset printing and digital printing. Digital printing, does not utilise plates of any kind to transfer ink to paper. In Offset, the ink is transferred from a plate to a aluminum sheet, which subsequently rolls the ink onto paper, vinyl, or another surface. He showed us the aluminium plates that are used, told us the minimum quantity required for offset and also how the ink needs to applied in order for it to not get wasted. What one thinks is an easy job is actually quite difficult with many steps that need to done flawlessly. The printing industry is quite interesting with the different ways of the same colours being used. The whole process begins with cutting the paper to the desired size, then feeding the design, deciding the colours, stitching the papers together, stapling it and then in the end giving it the final touches. The journey that a single paper goes through is beautiful and one that goes unnoticed.

The man who started small is now running a huge printing company which hosts huge clients. All he says is, “This business is everything to me. I have made it this far only because of the passion and that’s the one thing you need to succeed in anything you do”.

Written by – Prakruthi Bharadwaj

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