Frequently Asked Questions About Printing (aka: Printing FAQs)
What are the differences between offset, engraving & letterpress printing?
In terms of the look and feel, offset lithography printing can produce high-quality visuals, but is basically flat and non-tactile. Engraving produces a crisp raised image created by the genuine “bruising” of the paper caused by the plates. Letterpress produces a recessed image that appears, as its name suggests, “pressed” into the paper. Both engraving and letterpress printing have a high tactile quality that is often desired by art directors, designers and creative professionals.
Is foil stamping expensive?
Foil stamping is more expensive than traditional offset or digital printing due to the cost of the plates and set-up involved. However, the metallic effect, which can only be achieved with foil stamping, is well worth the additional cost, which is nominal at higher quantities.
Can I specify Pantone (PMS) colors with engraving?
Yes, Pantone ink matches as well as custom ink matches are available in engraving inks.
What is the difference between embossing & debossing?
Embossing is raised up from the substrate surface. Debossing is pushed in below the surface. Both processes require a counter and are created by heat and pressure. Foil and print registration can be added for a greater visual effect.
What is the maximum size book that can be printed digitally?
Generally the maximum size for saddle stitched book printing is 9” x 12” upright, however larger sizes can be done using different binding methods such as perfect binding and wire-o binding.
What is the maximum size book that can be printed using offset lithography?
Offset lithography allows for a saddle stitched size of up to 12” x 18” upright.
What is the difference between saddle stitching, saddle sewing and perfect binding?
Saddle stitching is generally considered where 2 wire staples are inserted into the fold or binding edge. Saddle sewing is when the sheets are bound together by a sewn thread which can be concealed or exposed. Perfect binding is typical in books and magazines. Perfect binding has a square spine where the sheets are held together by a very strong glue.
Which are the best paper stocks for printing photography?
We have a variety of matte, silk or gloss coated stock which reproduce exceptionally well on these coated stocks. Furthermore, we have developed special output curves which produce vivid color reproduction on uncoated paper stocks, which are normally subject to “dot gain.” Our custom curves help deliver more “pop” on luxe feeling uncoated paper stocks.
Can I print on clear plastic material?
Yes, we have specialized printing equipment which can print beautifully on clear synthetic materials.
Is it possible to print with white ink?
Yes, we offer white ink printing options in three different methods. Our digital offset press can print white ink on darker papers, clear synthetic substrates, etc. We can also screen print in white on just about any material and we can also print white inks on our engraving and foil stamping presses.
What is variable data printing?
Also known as “data driven print” are high value print solutions which allow a printed communication to be delivered with personalized information. Unlike traditional “static” printing, every piece can contain different content including customized imagery, verbiage and even the overall design. Variable printing offers increased response rates and can also include custom offers, previously unavailable in traditional static print.