a mechanized form of block printing. Instead of using flat blocks, the design is engraved on rollers or cylinders. The raised area of the cylinder prints the ink, much like a rubber stamp. Most surface printing machines can print twelve colors, with each cylinder printing a different color. Surface printing is beautiful and very recognizable - the inks are thicker than most printing processes and often appear to be hand painted. This process adds an historical quality because it simulates the look of block printing - the oldest form of printing for wallcovering.