When looking at finishing techniques online I came across a printing company that also focusses on foil blocking, embossing and die cutting. Their website shows some examples of their work and explains the processes they use.
Foil blocking is the process of applying metallic or 'foil' effects to a surface. It uses a metal die - like a stamp - onto which the design is chemically etched or crafted by hand from supplied artwork. Dies are made from various metals and can be either 'flat' (foil only) or 'combination' (foiling and embossing done in one pass).
The technique produces effects which are practically impossible to achieve using traditional ink printing. Foils are available in a variety of finishes, including gloss, matt and satin. Along with standard gold and silver, you can choose from many other metallic colours. Some foils do have restricted uses, so please check with us first.
It is also possible to foil block on to leather, plastic, and a number of other surfaces. Do chat with us at the concept stage of your project, so that we can advise you on the most appropriate way of achieving your designs.
And, despite the effort of producing specific dies for each job, foil blocking can be very economic for short run printing.
I wasn't aware you could foil block onto such a diverse range of materials so this is useful to know. As within college I can only screen print adhesive and apply foil in this way I am not sure foiling onto such materials would be as successful but it is something to consider as stated on this site foil blocking can also work for short print runs.
Here is an example of a die used to foil block.
Embossing makes something stand out from the page. It impresses an image or text into a surface using an engraved metal die. This creates a raised impression. If the impression is to be sunk, it is known as 'debossing'. You might also have come across the terms 'blind embossing', which means that no foiling or printing is required, and 'foil embossing' where foil is used in the process.
Embossing gives elegance to all kinds of printed materials including stationery and envelopes, invitations, wedding cards, thank you notes, gift bags and other promotional goods.
The success of the embossing process does depend very much on the surface of the stock used. We always recommend that you consult us in the early stages of your project, so we can advise you on the best ones to use.
This is a process I know quite a bit about already from the workshop I attended and research of my own, but it is still very interesting to read about how this is done commercially. Here is an example of an embossing plate I found on the site.
Die cutting is the process that cuts out non-square shapes from sheets of paper using a cutting forme.
The cutting forme is made from plywood with the cutting template laser cut into it. A metal cutting rule is then bent to the same shape and inserted into the plywood base to create a very stable cutting tool.
Die-cutting gives your printed materials crisp creases and clean cuts.
It is very popular in creating folders, envelopes and windows in report covers. We can also cut intricate and unusual shapes in stationery and invitations using a special process that we have perfected.
Although this has given a brief description of die-cutting this is still something I know little about and would like to learn more about. Using this to create neat folds I think would be particularly useful and I want to learn how exactly this process works.
Here is an image I found on this part of the site showing some of the materials used in this cutting process.
Of all the methods of applying ink to paper, litho printing achieves the sharpest definition.
Popular with printers and artists alike, it has very few limits. It is able to recreate shading and tones ranging from deep black to the softest grey, as well as all colours in between. It can even mimic the artistic effects of drawing and painting.
Hundreds of top quality prints can be taken from a single plate, making litho a hugely successful commercial application for the printing of magazines, brochures, cards, photography and many other promotional and graphic materials. In fact, because photography, full colour graphics and text are all improved with an offset print, the commercial scope of litho printing is practically unlimited.
With years of experience in this particular field, we pride ourselves on the clarity, consistency and depth of our colour printing. Whether it is line or tone, special colours, metallics or varnishes, let us know what you want to achieve and we will leave no stone unturned to recommend the best way of doing it, right down to the optimum paper for the job.
Before the talk with Evolution Print I knew very little about Lithograph printing but it is clearly a popular commercial method of printing. Similarly to Evolution Print, Benwells state that they can include metallics, varnishes and more within their prints.
Here is my favourite example of print from their online gallery as the colour as much brighter than standard inkjet or laser printing.
It has been interesting to read these descriptions by the company as they explain that they recommend clients discuss things such as what stock they want to emboss or material they want to foil onto and they mentioned a 'concept stage' which gives an insight into the way this printing company works as a business and how they interact and communicate with their clients to achieve the best outcomes. I would love to visit a company like this to learn more about how jobs are received and the process from this stage to the finished product.
I requested a sample pack as I liked the look of the work I had seen on the website and wanted to feel it for myself.
I wasn't sure if I would actually get a pack as I am a student but luckily they sent a pack filled with printed, embossed and foil blocked materials.
Embossed and printed business card. A simple design to allow the quality of the print speak.
Another business card but this has been foiled and embossed. The gold on white is clear to read as there is a high contrast.
This card has been printed and foiled with a clever design linking both sides. A high quality stock has been used with all these business cards giving a high end, tactile feel.
Black foil on black stock is one of my personal favourite finishes and this is a great example of how it can look chic and professional.
Foil blocked label showing how foiling works both on smaller point size text and patterns. This colour combination gives a feminine look and the high contrast ensures legibility.
This is a clever, interactive business card allowing the user to fold it to produce a standing, bench like shape. You can see from the flat card that a few cuts and folds have made this function.
This is my favourite piece that was sent to me. All the text and image has been foiled onto high quality card. This is a VIP invitation to a Children In Need event, the high quality finish is suitable for the VIP status.
It is not very clear from this photograph but this has a velvet like texture with BBC Sport within the texture. This is suitable for the sport theme as it links to astroturf and other sport pitches.
This christmas card has been foiled both with black and pink giving a tactile finish.
The front of this info card had been debased and you can see this leaves a raise on the inside of the card, this can be a problem as it can hinder the reading of the text.
A foiled letter head. Letterheads are important as they can adjust peoples first impressions.
I love this poster as I have never seen paper like this GF Smith pearl effect. The bold, gold, foiled text also works well on this unique stock. Both the foil and quality of paper give a high end feel promoting GF Smith as high quality paper stockists.
Gold foil on black works especially well with the high contrast.
Simple wedding invites. Finishing effects like foiling are common for such invites as they give a special and considered finish.
Another foiled item of wedding stationary.
This acceptance card has been embossed and foiled giving a tactile finish.
The print on top of this de-boss works well as it still very clear and the finish hasn't effected legibility.