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Popular Printing Techniques

Designing your artworks, greeting cards, business cards and the like is not only limited to the graphics and image effects that you use. You can enhance your pieces into a new level by integrating printing techniques.


 business cards


The art of printing relies on the quality of the images as well as the material used to convey it. This is the underlying principle in photo printing. To add to this concept, the article will feature creative and innovative printing techniques that will develop not only the visual appearance but also the tangible quality. Some printing techniques of this kind may be quite expensive; so in this case, this article will list down techniques that are right on your budget and yet still amazing.


1. Embossing and Debossing


Both processes aim to create an impression by means of trapping and pressing paper in between a metal plate and a counter. By context, embossed would refer to a raised impression produced while debossed refers to a depressed impression.


There are two ways in embossing: dry embossing and heat embossing.  Dry embossing uses a stencil and stylus to create the raised effect while heat embossing involves stamping the embossing shape on paper with the application of heat. It is customary to sprinkle a powder that helps distribute the heat once the paper is subjected to it.


Remember that during the process, you need a control over the paper stick to achieve the look that you need. Furthermore, consider placing more spaces in-between letters and lines. This is to avoid text overlaps when some portions of the paper is taken up by the embossing.


2. Silk Lamination


Silk lamination adds more vibrancy to an image’s colors as well as creates a silky, water-resistant texture. This finish is achieved by means of letting a type of liquid or perhaps, film dry up to a gloss on a dull surface. The result can actually be either of the three—the glossy finish, another dull surface or a satin texture, which is the transition of gloss and dullness.


3. Varnish


Aside from lamination, you can also add either gloss, matte, satin or neutral finish to the surface of your artwork by means of varnish. There are six types of varnishing depending on the achieved look—Gloss, Matte, Silk or Satin, UV, All-over UV and Spot UV Varnishings.


Gloss Varnishing, from the word itself, provides a glossy surface on a printed material while Matte Varnishing gives them a non-glossy but smooth to touch look. Silk or Satin gives a look that is not too glossy nor too matte. UV Varnishing employs ultraviolet in the coating process wherein the All-over type applies a whole UV seal on the printed surface while the Spot UV type only suggests UV coating on specific parts to create nice highlights and emphasis.


4. Foil


The Foil technique employs heat to create a gold or silver stamp layer. It is  somewhat similar to UV-Spot printing and it is usually done on vector images or outlined fonts.


5. Thermography


From the word itself, one can conclude that this look can also be achieved by using heat. True to that, the process in creating it is to add a special powder and ink mixture and subject them to heat until dry, which results to a raised effect on paper. The result appears almost similar to an engraving.


6. Die Cut


A die can be a customized or standard piece in various irregular shapes that can be cut on a paperboard to achieve a special printing effect. Some printers do have standard dies you can work with to reduce your cost of printing and yet integrate a new effect.


7. Letterpress


Letterpress printing is popular on wedding invitations and business cards for quite some time now. Perhaps, it may even be the oldest printing process. Letterpress uses either metal, carved wood or stone blocks as a printing substrate where a surface of raised letters is inked and pressed into to create an image in reverse.


8.Silk Screening


Silk screening is also one of the traditional ways of printing. It uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. This stencil forms open areas that accommodate ink transfers by means of a roller or squeegee. This roller then pumps the ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas. And hence, an image is formed. Here are some examples.


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Written by Henessy

Henessy Cervano is a marketing consultant for You The Designer. The leading source of design news, tips, and tutorials and inspirational graphic designs.


    1. LogoX says:
    2. There are five types of Printing namely:
      1. Offset Lithography
      2. Letterpress
      3. Digital Printing
      4. Engraving
      5. Electrostatic Printing

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