Popular Printing and Some Beautiful Examples

by Patrick Branigan

Designer: Various

I’ve listed numerous print processes that have become favorites in the design industry. Everyone knows what the results of these processes are, but not so many are aware of just how much work goes into incorporating these processes into designs, and utilizing them well. I’m not going to explain the technicalities of how these processes work, but rather show you some examples of fantastic work enhanced by them. Thanks to Ciara Panacchia.

Embossing / Debossing
Embossing and debossing are mechanical processes that manipulate the stock being used. Embossing produces a raised on stock while debossing produces a depressed impression.

Silk Lamination
Silk lamination provides a soft, silk-like finish, is water-resistant and tear-resistant, and complements vibrant colors.

A varnish is a liquid coating applied to a printed surface to add a clear glossy, matte, satin, or neutral finish. Varnish types include: Gloss, matte, UV, spot, etc.

To get the gold /silver stamp, a foil layer is affixed to a certain material by a heating process.

I’ll explain this one as it’s more rare. Thermography produces raised printing similar in appearance to engraving, but using a different process for attaining the effect. In thermography, a special powder is added to the ink that is to be printed on the paper. The printed piece is heated, causing the powder and ink mixture to dry, which in turn results in a raised effect on the paper.

Die Cut
Die cut involves cutting irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die creating for interesting spaces in the stock as well as fun interactions with the viewer.

Letterpress is the oldest printing process. In this method, a surface with raised letters is inked and pressed to the surface of the printing substrate to reproduce an image in reverse.

Silk Screening

Again, one worth explaining. Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that allows ink to transfer onto the material. A roller or squeegee moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas.