The Foil blocking is originally derived from ancient Egyptian times, where it was the custom to beat the gold so as to apply it by embellishing onto costumes, manuscripts, 3D objects and other substrates. Foil blocking has through time developed into print using letterpress techniques along with heat, pressure, and dwell time to give a unique finish to metallic, gloss and matt flat colours as well as a variety of clear refractive, and holographic effect foils.
Letterpress, which is the early form of mechanised printing, it is one of our bespoke specialities. It is a versatile method of printing, where thick card, and heavy weight or uneven substrate paper and board can be used. Special effects can be created when printed colours are sunk into the surface of the stock. The Letterpress metal printing block (die plate) is produced with the image to be printed on the raised part, with the non-print areas etched away on the metal block (plate die).
Embossing is achieved by applying heat and pressure using male and female dies. The female dies is placed on a platen bed with a pliable substrate (male) which cures under heat and dwell time. The female die images are usually etched into copper, zinc, brass or dual material, with a force (male) plastic material to give the emboss effect. This operation can be used in conjunction with foil blocking, letterpress, litho and digital printing on most papers & board materials, including synthetic. Heavy weight boards may need special blocks operation if they are to be successfully embossed.
Imagine a biscuit cutter, cutting out a Christmas tree or gingerbread man. Die cutting does this exact same process to paper. A die is made which is the master shape which needs to be cut out of the paper or card. It is then stamped into the paper to cut out the shape. This process is often used to die cut presentation folders, swing tickets, hanger cards and business stationery. It can be used for many elaborate designs and shapes.
Digital printing is a relatively new method of printing using xerography as its base. It allows for the on demand print service world we live where short runs of mono black or full colour on one or both sides, and a quick turnaround is requested. Printed on uncoated, gloss, or silk smooth materials from 100gsm to 350gsm. We use the Xerox 700 series sra3 format machine for our digital printing. The Digital print costs match that of Offset Litho on colour runs of up to 2000 sides of A3. Digital Print is very efficient on runs of 1-1000 sides of colour or mono black. Depending on the type of work required spot PMS colour are usually printed in Litho on upwards of 1000 sides.
Thermography is a raised print which is similar in appearance to die stamping but is a very different process. This requires special polyamide powder that is sprinkled on paper, which adheres to the inked only areas and under heat is cured to a raised print finish. This creates a tactile effect to the print which invites the reader to run their fingers over the text, this raised look is especially eye-catching. Thermography can be combined with many other printing techniques such as regular Offset, Letterpress, Foiling, Embossing and in some cases Digital Print to create truly creative print.