printing press: (noun) a machine, as a cylinder press or rotary press, for printing on paper or the like from type, plates, etc.
I'm a little bit of a nerd when it comes to certain aspects of my job. I work in print production for Chatelaine magazine and I get maybe a bit too excited when I get to see the printing presses. They are web presses and they are HUGE so the plant is, of course, not local. Today I got to go to Owen Sound (bah) to tour the plant we will soon be printing with. And the plant is AWESOME.
Web presses use paper that comes on huge rolls (rather than in individual sheets) and the paper goes so fast through the press and the colours are printed and then the paper is folded and trimmed and bound and - voila! - you have a magazine. What I find so cool is the sheer scale of the operation.
These presses are bigger than most Toronto condo units. They have flights (yes, plural) of stairs to get to the top of them. One roll of paper would fill my bathroom. There are vats of ink that I could drown in. The paper moves so fast through the presses that it doesn't look like it's moving. And then it makes a 90-degree turn without ripping or folding or smudging and then it goes into an enclosed area and comes out folded and ready to bind.
I love it. All of it.