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We take pride in our expertise in the great historic printing methods and techniques that demand skills now increasingly rare. Die-stamping dates from around 1450. Steel or copper plates are engraved by hand then squeezed by counterforce to produce a fine, raised impression. Each coloured ink involved in the printing requires its own plate so it’s a slow, demanding, process that produces gloriously subtle and detailed results.
Embossing produces an elegant and detailed raised image on either paper or card. This can then either be left pristine, untouched by ink – blind embossed – or be the basis for a printing process adding colour and detail. Embossing is achieved by pressing the paper or card onto an engraved die. Debossing is the opposite – pressing paper or card onto an engraved die to achieve an image or letters sunk into the material.
This high-precision modern method offers many possibilities, an infinite range of possible patterns, design, decoration and detail. Combine state-of-the-art laser technology with traditional engraving to achieve the perfect marriage.
Letterpress is one of the earliest printing methods. Like die-stamping it dates from the mid-15th century. As the name suggests, raised inked letters or images on printing blocks are pressed against the paper. Nowadays many people like the printing to be visibly indented, an effect best achieved on soft papers, especially those made from cotton.
Most modern print is created using litho, including the vast majority of brochures, magazines and books. It is also known as flat printing because it does not indent the paper. A thin aluminium plate is treated so the text or image attracts the ink while the non-treated areas repel it. The results are clear clean and attractive.
It can also be used in combination with other techniques, for instance to add borders to bespoke stationery
A practical and affordable process, thermography delivers the look of engraving without the cost and complexity of creating plates. Used in conjunction with lithography, a fine powdered resin is spread on the drying ink. The print then passes through infrared heaters to produce a raised glossy effect mimicking the look of engraving though perhaps not its subtlety.
Whether the aim is to beautify, emphasise or simply add interest, plate sinking – making a recessed area on a card or invitation – is economical and effective. You are putting the message in a frame and raising its game.
Bonding same-colour cards or paper together provides extra thickness and firmness. It also means that recessed or indented printing will make no impression on the back, leaving it perfectly smooth. Or we can sandwich different colours to give the sort of effect you see here.
It’s no mystery: gilding beautifies. It’s the finishing touch, the final compliment. On invitations, business cards or handsome leather notebooks, whether silver or gold, it’s often they way to make a lovely thing even better.
Silver, gold, matt, gloss, holographic, fluorescent, pearlescent, wood effect – so many possibilities. Foil blocking means passing a foil pigment between a heated die and the paper or card and applying pressure. Used by itself or combined with other printing techniques, the effect can be stunning.