CHAPTER EIGHT Reprographic services


Reprographic services

1 Photocopying

Is a process of obtaining a copy of a document directly from the original with photographic details

Is only used when few copies are required or when on exact photographic reproduction is necessary


  • Exact copies without losses of only detail are obtained
  • When only a few copies are required its the cheapest form of duplicating
  • Color copies can be obtained in some machines
  • Large sized documents can be reduced by some machines
  • It can be operated by a junior as compared with typing which requires a skilled typist
  • Quicker than duplicating or printing as no need for the preparation of the master


  • Too expensive for large number of copies
  • Photocopies tend to fade after some time
  • Some machines don’t photocopy colors

2 Duplicating

This is the process whereby a master copy is prepared from which are obtained a large number of other copies

There are two basic methods of duplicating documents;

  1. stencil
  2. spirit duplicating
  3. Stencil duplicating

This process involves the use of a thin fibrous sheet called stencil which is covered with a chemical coating through which ink cannot pass .They are not  easy to write on but straight forward to type


  • If more copies are required then this method is quite cheap
  • The errors can be corrected by using the fluid
  • The copies obtained are more clear and can be used permanently
  • The copies can be reproduced by using electronic stencil
  • Stencils can be used several times if stored properly


  • This method is expensive if only few copies are required
  • Its not suitable for color production
  • More time is required to prepare a stencil than photocopying
  • Its not suitable for attractive printing material like sales promotion literature because the paper used isn’t of high quality
  1. Spirit duplicating

In this process the master copy consists of a sheet of art paper that has a special carbon on its reverse side. This method of duplicating involves two parts, the preparation of the master and the production of copies from this master


  • Preparation a master is easy and quick
  • Color can be duplicated simultaneously
  • Its suitable for producing hard within work for diagrams, maps, charts etc.


  • Difficult to correct mistakes
  • Quite expensive can give only 200-300 copies from each master
  • The image becomes weaker as the carbon deposit is used
  • The quality of work reproduced resemble carbon copies unlike stencil duplicating

3 Printing

This is a special type of duplicating used in most large offices where thousands of copies eg 50,000 are required and their high quality printing is important

Its master copy is a metal plate or paper plate which is typed using a special type writer


  • The quality of reproduction is best of all processes
  • It’s a very economical if large quantities are needed
  • It’s speedy because up to 5,000 copies an hour can be produced
  • Any paper can be used
  • Plates can be stored and re used again
  • Different color printing and typefaces or sizes can be used


  • It’s expensive if only few copies are required
  • It needs specialized and trained operations
  • Separate runs are required for different colors
  • Additional office space required for duplicating and stores for materials

What are factors to be considered when deciding on the appropriate duplicating process

  • Number of copies required
  • Frequency of demand i.e. how often the machine will be used
  • Number of colors required
  • How urgently are copies needed
  • Who would receive the document, this would decide whether type written or printed. Type set appearance is preferred
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