Printing House

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Printing House


an enterprise that produces printed materials, mainly by the letterpress method. Establishments that use offset and gravure printing are also often called printing houses.

The technical process of reproducing manuscripts and illustrations in a printing house consists of three stages: preparation of the plate, printing the run on a printing press, and, depending on the kind of publication, doing the stitching, binding, and finishing. Printing houses have shops corresponding to these stages. The work performed in plate shops includes typesetting, photozincography, stereotyping, and preparation of the offset or gravure plates. There are also printing shops and stitching and binding shops. Auxiliary services include machine-repair shops, warehouses, and research laboratories. Each shop consists of divisions and sections where a specific group of operations is carried out. Many medium-sized and all small printing houses do not use the shop system, but consist of only divisions and sections.

In the USSR in 1974 there were about 4,000 printing houses, divided according to output into large, medium-sized, and small enterprises. There are All-union, republic, krai, oblast, interregional, and raion printing houses. All-union printing houses have the largest output and generally specialize in one or two kinds of publication, for example, books, books and booklets, central newspapers and magazines, or color pictures, postcards, and posters. Republic printing houses have a smaller output than All-union printing houses. Krai and oblast printing houses are more diversified than republic printing houses and print chiefly material from local publishing houses and organizations, such as krai and oblast newspapers and books. Some krai and oblast printing houses receive matrices or phototelegraphic reproductions of printed pages from All-union printing houses, which they use to print central newspapers. Interregional and raion printing houses produce small editions of raion newspapers, as well as blank forms and other printed materials for raion use.

The large printing houses, comprising most of the All-union and some of the republic printing houses, use two or three types of printing and are called printing and publishing combines; examples are the Minsk, Saratov, Kalinin, and Yaroslavl printing houses. When an establishment uses primarily offset or gravure printing, it is called a plant, for example, an offset printing plant or a cartography plant. Printing and publishing production and technical associations (combines) are formed from the large printing houses.

Most printing houses in the USSR are under the authority of the State Committee on Publishing of the USSR and the state committees on publishing of the Union republics. Some printing houses are attached to party, soviet, trade union, and Komsomol agencies, as well as to certain ministries, departments, and institutions.


Polianskii, N. N. Obshchaiap oligrafiia. Moscow, 1964.
Matveev, P. A. Proektirovanie poligraficheskikh predpriiatii. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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