Our simple guide to letterpress, laser cutting, etching & engraving
This month, we look at a variety of creative ways you can breathe life into your print, using a range of traditional and technological processes. We’re going to look at both old and new techniques, which can add texture, shape and embossing effects to a wide range of materials – and we’re not just talking paper! Using an inspiring process to produce your promo items can really help to enhance and refine your brand presence. Read on…
What is a ‘letterpress’?
Originating in the 1400s, letterpress is one of the oldest forms of printing and is still very popular today due to the brilliant effects that you can produce. Letterpress is a relief printing process, utilising raised metal type and engravings to imprint words and designs onto a page. It was used as the main form of printing for around 500 years, and has evolved into more of an art form due to the highly appealing, tactile quality when compared to other standard offset and digital printing methods.
Why would I choose letterpress?
Suitable for line work, letterpress printing is a wonderfully, tactile technique. It can be used to create stylish wedding invitations, business cards, greetings cards, and most other stationery items. Nowadays, we use pantone (PMS) spot colour inks and metallic inks to produce stunning effects. However, be aware that it can be difficult to ensure the consistency of solid colour areas, so always ask for a sample to check it fits with your objectives. Letterpress is great for embossing and debossing; and we think it’s a great way to make an impression!!!
How does laser cutting work?
From the old to the new, laser cutting is the latest process to hit the printing world. Finely detailed, beautiful shapes can be delicately cut into a vast range of materials without the need for expensive tooling. Using a laser, materials are cut to precision – this process is becoming increasingly popular with businesses and customers looking for a highly creative, personal finish for their print.
What can I create using laser cutting?
Laser cutting is especially suited to wedding stationery, greetings cards, packaging and point of sale displays. Why not laser-cut shapes into your office stationery and business cards so you stand out from the crowd? From paper to wood to plastic to foam – it’s really quite limitless! In fact, you’ll find that signs, awards, trophies, prototypes and architectural models are often laser-cut. If you’re looking to create something special, laser cutting will make your project very unique, as you can cut any shape you like to reflect your branding and logos. We recommend using laser cutting for wedding invitations – you can really ‘wow’ your guests with imaginative shapes and designs to reflect your wedding theme!
How does etching / engraving work?
Laser engraving is similar to laser cutting, except that the settings are adjusted so that the laser doesn’t cut completely through the surface. It creates stunning effects on paper, board, wood, acrylic, glass etc.
What are the benefits from etching and engraving?
Etching and engraving produce a lovely finish. You can engrave items such as chopping boards and tapas boards, or promotional items such as pen holders, coasters, frames – even coat hangers! Why not consider engraving and personalising wooden wine boxes for clients, suppliers, or for a special event? A truly bespoke branding item or keepsake, people are likely to keep this forever.
If you’re planning a wedding, then read our previous blog on wedding stationery to get creative when it comes to your special day. We look at a vast range of inspiring ideas, which use some of the above techniques to make your day even more special.
And when you’re ready to try a different process, always ask to see samples from your printer. It’s very important to compare the effects produced by these different techniques – you might just be surprised at what you can create!
Interested in letterpress, laser cutting, etching or engraving? Please feel free to get in touch or give us a call on 0116 253 1222 – we’d love to discuss your project with you.