Special thanks to Henry Wurst, Inc., the printer for How Stuff Works Express, for its help in creating this article.

How Stuff Works Express is a print publication of How Stuff Works, Inc., aimed at 4th through 8th grade students and teachers. Find out how to subscribe!
The next time you read your favorite magazine or go through the latest catalog that arrives in your mailbox, stop for a moment and think about how that publication came to be. First, writers, editors and designers participate in the creative process. Printers take that creative work and turn it into the publications you read every day. Printing is a fascinating process involving huge high-speed machines, 2,000-pound rolls of paper, computers, metal plates, rubber blankets and sharp knives.

In this edition of How Stuff Works, we'll look at offset lithography, the most commonly used printing process, and detail the three production steps: pre-press, press run and bindery. We'll follow the publication of our new magazine, How Stuff Works Express, from start to finish to explore this process.