An intaglio or recessed printing process. The recessed areas are like wells that form the image as paper passes through.
A printing process used in high-output rotary presses, in which the printing elements take the form of small cells on the surface of the gravure form cylinder. The print image is generally transferred onto the cylinder by means of electromechanical engraving using a diamond stylus. During the course of the printing process, the printing cylinder is entirely coated in ink. A doctor blade then removes the excess ink from the surface and the only ink remaining is the ink in the cells. A rubber roller then presses the paper web against the printing cylinder and the ink remaining in the cells is applied to the paper.
The depressions in an engraved printing cylinder or plate are filled with ink, the excess raised portions being wiped off by a doctor blade. Ink remaining in the depressions is deposited on the plastic film or other substrates as it passes between the gravure roll and resilient back-up roll.