Select Page

Alphabet – M/3


17. MICR and Magnetic ink : MICR denotes  Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. The numerals printed by this technique is of special designs and character  and are used by the banking industry to facilitate the processing of the cheques and other such documents which are printed as MICR. 

The MICR , as defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), is the common machine language specification for the paper-based payment transfer system and are printed with internationally accepted E-13B or CMC-7 Fonts for printing money transfer documents (cheques) . The  characters in MICR are printed with a special ink called Magnetic inks which contain detectable magnetic particles something like iron oxides and are magnetized  to enable them read with special equipment compatible to the magnetic ink and MICR character. The advantage of magnetic ink printing is that it allows the characters to be read at extremely high rates of speed and authenticate the document even if they have been overprinted or obscured by cancellation stamps and signatures.

Once the MICR characters are printed with the special type faces using magnetic ink they become readable by a special device which reads such characters. Every series of numbers are printed with a special symbol to begin with and another symbol at the end of the numerals.   Actually the character alone is not read, it is read by the devices in combination with the magnetic particles embedded in the ink.   In the machine that decodes the MICR text, it first magnetizes the characters in the plane of the paper and then pass on the same to the MICR read head which produce certain waves and transmit them to enable the system identify the waves to authenticate the characters printed. 


18. Mail Order: Unlike purchase of products by visiting the stores or shops, the placement of orders for purchase  by mail is called the mail order. Even the printing of visiting cards, procurement of  greeting cards etc are done by placing mail orders.

19. Matrix printer: This is also called Dot matrix or Impact Printer. Dot matrix printing represent the oldest printing technology used by offices, especially banking institutions where cost saving is considered to be important in respect of generating the receipts, invoices, reports and statement print outs where high quality resolution is not required. It is also widely used to print multipart forms and address labels.

The Matrix printer -mostly in the form of a typewriter machine  has vertical row of tiny pins ranging from 9 pin to 24 pins to effect the print by hitting against an inked ribbon.  As the head containing the pins move across the paper, the correct pins for a particular letter are pushed forward to hit the ribbons to form the image which is the letter. Each letter is represented by closely spaced dots. If the printed letter  is enlarged and viewed one can see series of dots that has formed the letter. While the 9 pin dot matrix is commonly used for getting medium density print,  to get  better denser dot-patterns of high  resolution and better print quality, then 24 pin matrix is used. Most dot-matrix printers offer different speeds depending on the quality of print desired. Several manufacturers have come out with various models of Matrix printers that can produce colour prints  through a multi-color ribbon.

Compared to the laser and inkjet printers, the matrix printers are cheaper to work with, but the quality will certainly be not comparable to that of the laser or inkjet printer. However  for multi page forms, which is set of carbon copies, while the dot matrix printer can do the job, the laser and inkjet printer can not give carbon copies, i.e in one go multiple copies.  

20. Mezzotint:  Mezzotint is an intaglio printmaking process primarily developed for making portraits. The process involves the production of halftone type of images in line work with a copper plate. 

Let me explain  in simple words how the technique works.  
  • A copper plate is pricked by hand with a special tool to create innumerable tiny small pits which can hold inks.
  • A image is transferred (traced ) on to the copper plate.The traced  image is then created by selectively burnishing areas of the surface of the metal plate as per the shades of the  image with special tools called burnisher which has smooth round edge. 
  • As per the image, shades of the image areas are burnished deeper or moderate depth with varying degrees of burnishing. 
  • Where the print is required to be blank, the dots are completely burnished. 

The smoothed parts will print lighter than those areas not smoothed by the burnishing tool. This is a very laborious process but produces high degree of portraits and paintings. Before taking the print, the face of the plate is wiped clean, while the tiny pits in the plate holding the ink will be allowed  to remain unaffected. This process is therefore very similar to Intaglio printing. A high level of quality and richness in the print can be achieved if it is properly done.

The mezzotint printmaking method was invented by the German amateur artist Ludwig von Siegen (1609–c 1680). His earliest mezzotint print dates to 1642 and was made by working from light to dark. 

Read further  about Mezzo tint process by clicking the following link

21. Micron: A unit of a measure for  calculating the thickness. Its symbol is μm. The thicknesses of films and paper in printing are expressed in terms of micron measure. Minute distances, as, for example, the wavelengths of infrared radiation, are also given in micrometer measurements. One mille meter is (mm) is equal to 1000 micron. Therefore one micron works out to 0.001 mm. This is measured by an instrument called Micrometer. Various models of table top thickness measuring equipment are available in the market some of which show the measurement in digital display. 

22. Migration (Bleed): In printing the word migration refers to the bleeding of the ink or adhesives intruding on to the non printed side. The ink component migration into the package substances may some time cause odor or contaminate the food products packed.  Migration of ink components from the printed side penetrates right through the substrate onto the unprinted side may also be due to the nature of oils and adhesives used in the ink.  Sometimes the heat also causes such problem to occur.
23. Mylar®: This is a plastic film substrate developed by DuPont Photographic company, and  is their registered product. The Mylar® film is dimensionally stable film and very durable and therefore used for stripping of the negatives for processing  plates for printing. Some of the process litho films supplied by DuPont is also of Mylar base which is actually Polyester base. The properties of Mylar films are that it is not easily torn or worn out. Because of its strength and durability, Mylar® films are used as protective cover to the maps.
24. Mono type: Like hand composing and Lino type composing machines employed for typesetting, the Mono type is also another machine used for type setting in printing. The Mono type machine consists of two units. One gives you the perforated  paper roll by key board typing which when inserted into the caster gives fully justified format type set metal fonts for printing by Letterpress.  The operator types out characters and spacing to produce a perforated paper ribbon. A Mono type machine consists of a 120-key keyboard, a caster, and a replaceable matrix case divided into quadrants, each holding one complete type font.  The types produced in the caster will be in single fonts unlike Lino type where you get one slug- line of cast type set matter.
The Mono type was invented by Tolbert Lanston, who was born in the US in 1844. It consists of two units: a keyboard and a casting machine. 
To read further about Monotype click  the following link 

25. Monochrome : Mono means single color and therefore Monochrome original denotes an art work or design made of only with one colour, be it be black, Red or even Blue . Monochrome pictures are made in different shades of a single color. However multi colour effects are given by over printing the black and white or dark colour print of the monochrome original on a light shaded or colored paper to give effect of two colors. Even Duo-tone printing is sometimes viewed as Monochrome as the same single color original is printed twice without altering the original in any way, but printed in two colours with two plates, each plate made of the same image  processed with two different angle of dots. That too gives effect of two color printing. 

26. Moisture content: Moisture control is an important factor in the Press room conditions. Poor moisture control can adversely affect many properties of paper. The moisture content  factor is related to RH in the press room. The moisture content present in the air on a particular temperature affects the paper as some of the physical properties of paper undergo change in their sizes as a result of variations in moisture content in the atmosphere since the paper is made of fibers which can absorb or release water from its surface. Water has the effect of plasticizing the cellulose fiber. Dampness can therefore weaken the inter fiber bonding. In such cases the paper stability gets disturbed and cause registration problem in multi color printing process.
…………Additions to alphabet M to be continued under M/4

About The Author


Retired Govt of India Official. My hobby is to write articles that range from Printing technologies to Spiritual.

Terabyte Vault

Leave a reply

Number of Visitors





Recent Comments

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This