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Print methods explained

March 1, 2018

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space within letters pairs (kerning).


Also known as ‘copperplate’ or ‘die stamping’, engraving is synonymous with high-end printing. This skilled and world renowned process, produces raised text using a copper die that leaves a gentle “bruise” on the back of the card, giving it a distinctive look.

Foil Blocking

A heat transfer process – hot foil stamping produces stunning results, especially when metallic or unusual foils are pressed into the card stock to create a striking look with a gentle impression.


The traditional high quality offset process of flat printing works well in combination with most other printing processes. Pantone colours can be used for accurate spot colour matching . Process colours can be used for long full colour printing runs.


Centuries old, the letterpress process offers an imprinted or de-bossed impression on the card. Particularly suited to thick and soft cotton like papers, to highlight the technique.


Sometimes referred to as imitation engraving, thermography is a practical alternative that lacks engraving’s distinctive “bruise” on the back of the card. A resin powder is applied to wet ink and then heat fused to create raised text that has a slight sheen.


Simply by creating a three dimensional impression on the sheet with the use of a die and the absence of ink, blind embossing creates a visual and tactile appearance that is particularly effective with bold outlined artwork. A de-bossing effect can also be achieved (as shown).


The specialised art of applying a gilt or coloured edge to a card, especially when bevelled, gives a perfect finishing touch to any invitation.


When two or more sheets are bonded together. This process can be used to stick different materials together, create card of any weight or even to cover up the impression on the reverse of a stamped card.


Using a laser rather than a knife to cut the card, a higher degree of precision and detail can be achieved than the more conventional die cutting process. Intricate and elaborate designs become a feature of what is an increasingly popular process.


Using a specially made cutting forme that can be created from an artwork outline, numerous copies can be ‘cut out’ from a sheet to produce any shape. Works a little like a gingerbread cutter!


A debossing technique in which an area of the card is ‘sunk’ in so that it sits lower than the rest of the card, creating a frame within an invitation.


Vibrant and smooth to the touch, a flat printed and most versatile process for quick colour printing which is inexpensive and perfect for short runs.

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