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Paper Printing Techniques

During the design process you can choose from four different printing methods: flat print, letterpress, foil and blind emboss. If you’re unsure what will look best, feel free to contact us and one of our designers can help you out!

Flat Printing

Flat printing is the only method that can print many colors at once. Small dots of ink are layed into the paper to create a matte and flat finish. The marble print below is an example of flat printing.

There are over 90 flat print colors to choose from when selecting your ink colors. To achieve the look of white text, select Knockout. This option does not use any ink and results in the original paper color showing through. Knockout works best with dark or full coverage prints.

A color palette showing an array of options for flat print ink colors

Letterpress Printing

Letterpress printing is done on antique printing presses. Tiny variations may exist between each piece, which makes this printing method so beautiful and unique. Each letterpress color chosen requires a unique plate that is pressed into the paper with the ink color, creating a truly stunning impression.

There are 96 letterpress colors to choose from. Letterpress inks are slightly translucent so it is best to to choose an ink that is darker than the paper. Blind deboss does not use any ink and relies on the shadows of the impression for legibility. Clear varnish is similar to a Blind Deboss but has a slight matte tint that adds a delicate contrast to the paper. While the metallic shimmer inks do reflect light, they are not shiny like metallic foil.

A color palette showing an array of options for letterpress ink colors

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping is printed in a similar way to letterpress, but instead of ink, colored and metallic foil is heat stamped and pressed into the paper. The metallic and glossy foils are highly reflective and can change color drastically when moved around in your hand.

Foils tend to pop on most papers and prints as long as there is enough contrast. Due to their reflective nature you can play with the highlights and shadows by moving the piece around to find the optimal reading angle. We can help make recommendations based on your paper color or print selection, so please don't hesitate to Contact Us to discuss!

A white thank you note with gold script

There are 12 foil colors to choose from when selecting your ink colors.

A palette showing swatches for different foils to use for printing

Blind Emboss

Embossing is when the paper is pressed out towards you. It will feel raised to the touch. A blind emboss does not use ink so text will be the color of your paper and is most legible on lighter colors.

A white blind embossed card with the letters

Edge Painting

Edge painting can be a great way to bring out an existing color or add an extra pop. It is most visible when using 2-ply paper. All colors are matte, and while metallic colors have a slight shimmer, they are not shiny like foil.

A stack of invitations showing the edge painting on them

Choose from any of the letterpress colors.

Please Note

Please keep in mind that the color palettes represented are digital approximations of the ink and foil colors. Screens on our phones, tablets and computers are calibrated differently, so slight variations may exist between what you see on your screen and what is actually printed. Also, letterpress and foil stamping are age-old printing methods done on antique machines, so subtle variations in impression, inking and positioning may exist.