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Stationery Imprinting Techniques

5 Mar

printYou may have noticed different printing terms used on our website and in the industry.  There are a number of different methods for printing stationery, invitations, business cards and more to achieve a particular look and feel.  One method is not necessarily any better or worse than another.  They are a personal preference.  But for those that love the world of stationery, here are some main details that differentiate between the mainstream printing styles.

Embossing
mar-printing-techniques-embossed-200x200The process to create an embossed image is to create a metal die of your imprint, whether your imprint is a name or monogram or design.  That die is pushed from the bottom up into the paper to create a raised image.  You can feel the image when you rub your hands over the stationery.  The note cards are done one by one for this special process.  You may have heard the term blind embossed, which simply means the imprint has no color, it’s simply the crisp imprint pushed into the paper stock.  Embossing can be on white or ivory paper stock but can also be on colored stocks.  Embossing creates an understated, elegant image perfect for everything from business use to social use.

Raised Printing known as Thermography
mar-printing-techniques-thermo-200x200The process of thermography was developed to achieve a less expensive version of engraving.  To create this look the imprint is printed on the paper stock with ink and, prior to the imprint drying, a very fine powder is sprinkled over it.  The paper is then placed in a heated oven to set the powder and dry the ink which leaves a slightly raised, slightly shiny imprint.  The powder is then wiped clean from the paper stock leaving a very sophisticated look and feel to the product.  The process of thermography is perfect for note cards, letter sheets, invitations, business cards and thank you notes for formal events, everyday social use and for business.

Flat Printing 
mar-printing-techniques-flat-200x200As its name implies, with flat printing the ink lays completely flat on the surface of the paper. It is the most popular style of printing and is used on almost all notepads, most holiday cards and many types of note cards.  Flat printing can create rich, stunning colors and patterns.  Flat printing can be done on either traditional offset printing presses or modern digital presses. It is neither raised like thermography nor depressed like letterpress. Flat printing can be used for everything from single color imprints all the way up to full-color photo reproductions. These printers are run by highly trained press operators to bring complex and colorful designs to life. With a desire from designers to print gorgeous full-color patterns and imprints now greater than ever, flat printing is the perfect solution.

Foil Stamping
mar-printing-techniques-foil-200x200Adding some shine to printed paper stock is referred to as foil stamping.  The process of fusing foil to paper can create beautiful accents on stationery, invitations and holiday cards.  For a touch of shimmer a metal die of the desired imprint is produced.   The die is used to push a thin sheet of foil into paper stock through a process of pressure and heat which leaves the desired foil imprint fused onto the paper.  Foil for this purpose is available in many colors. A real foil accent can add a brilliant touch to personalized items.  There are also many items which use a matte foil.  This technique is very useful for printing lighter colors over dark paper.

Letterpress
mar-printing-techniques-letterpress-200x200To create a letterpress imprint, a metal die is created and a specific type of quality soft cotton paper stock must be used.  The die is positioned in a special press for this process.  As the paper moves through the press, the ink color is pushed directly into the elegant, paper stock, from the top of the card down, to create a crisp impression and an elegant feel.  This is an old world process and requires a specialty printer to accomplish it correctly.  When you rub your hands over an item created via letterpress you will feel a depressed imprint.  Letterpress stationery, invitations and other items denotes personal and professional style.  The color, weight and texture of the paper are all part of the presentation. Letterpress items add a rich impression to stationery, business cards, invitations and more. Every sheet of stock is pressed individually for a subtle but exquisite touch of luxury.  Typically letterpress is done in one color imprint but a two color imprint is available which requires two metal dies and two passes through the press.

Engraving
mar-printing-techniques-engraving-200x200This is one of the oldest and most elegant methods of printing.  Specifically, engraving starts by creating a reverse etching of an image onto a copper plate. Then, ink is applied to the plate and paper is pressed into it, creating a raised image on the front of the paper stock.  The process of engraving can print gold, silver and other metallic ink colors, a light colored ink on a darker colored stock, or most any other colored ink on a lighter colored stock.  You can tell if an item is engraved as you can feel and see a slight indentation on the back of the item where there was pressure on the stock.  Engraving can be done on products from note cards to invitations business cards.  It is a manual hand-process.  Each time the stock is pressed, a new piece needs to be fed into the machinery by hand.  Engraved items will be more expensive than thermographed product as there needs to be a metal plate produced and, as mentioned, the printing process is manual.  However, plates can be used over and over again reducing that initial investment.  If you are someone who appreciates an elegant product, engraving may be a perfect option for you.

Best wishes,

Renee

 

See Our New Line: Pickett’s Press

20 Feb

feb-pickettsPress-002We are thrilled to introduce Pickett’s Press, a wonderful line of personalized stationery, gift stickers, gift enclosures, invitations and more.  We love the pretty styles, designs, colors and uniqueness of this intrinsically sweet and charming line.  Initially, we are offering the Pickett’s Press digitally printed options but in the coming months we will be adding a selection of more invitations and exceptional engraved products.

Designer Kate Pickett says she creates designs for the modern woman who appreciates chic and fabulous design work. She explains, “We offer the oldest printing methods steeped in tradition and elegance.  Our products have a dedicated following and our customers expect and appreciate our unique artwork and fabulous quality.”  Her discerning clientele trusts her recommendations and designs.  Kate has a true love for illustration which resonates with a modern audience.

Her motifs and designs reflect an updated style combined with a modern printing technique which makes her items accessible to many budgets.  All the art is drawn by hand, with pen and ink, hand-rendered and personalized.  There are no tablets or computer programs in her studio, regardless of printing method, which is a unique process. Her designs provide elegant yet simple artwork featuring the true sophistication of the brand.

Kate was classically trained at the Student Art League of New York, and in private classes with the founder of the Children’s Art League of New York.  At a young age, her work was recognized for it’s commercial appeal when she was commissioned to create designs for the American Folk art museum gift shop.  She continued studying Studio Art at Harvard, as a minor with Art History as her major.  Her background gives her unique insight into both traditional etiquette and artistic style.

Putting herself through Harvard College business school gave her an understanding that good taste should fit any budget and that style is not limited to affluence. As a working mother of three young children, she understands that there are appropriate times for exquisite engraving, and times for digital printing.

Take a look at some of the gorgeous designs in our Pickett’s Press product line and look for more to come!

Enjoy,

Renee

 

 

National Handwriting Day

23 Jan

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Today we celebrate National Handwriting Day.  The lost art, or so it seems, as we type on keyboards and text on our smartphones to communicate.  My grocery lists are now on my iPhone and my conversations are mainly in text and email.  Yet there is something more personal when a note is handwritten.  I think now more than ever, handwritten notes stand out since so few people write them anymore.  Who doesn’t like to open their mailbox and receive a handwritten letter?  Or think back to when you were in school and friends passed notes in class.  So much more exciting than getting a text!

To celebrate, why not write a long lost friend a note letting them know you are thinking of them?  Or jot a quick note to pack  in your kids lunch?

Do you still write handwritten letters?  Let us know if you do and if you feel the art is lost or making a comeback in this modern age of technology.

Happy writing!

Best,

Jennifer