Specialty processes add impact to a printed piece

Printing can be fairly straight forward when creating basic letters, brochures, flyers and other materials. Add special finishes like embossing and foil stamping, and your piece can be transformed into a standout, elegant, show-stopping piece.

Add Style and Elegance with Embossing

Embossing is a process that takes a flat material and turns it into a designed engraving, enhancing the image and quality of the company behind the piece. An invitation with an embossed title gives it a sense of importance and elegance, sending the message that this is a sophisti- cated event.

The actual process of embossing takes keen precision, since the embosser must ensure all materials are aligned as the stock comes in contact with the dies under high pressure. The look of the final product can depend on the type of paper used and the style of embossing, which can include blind embossing, tint embossing and glazing.

Ways to use embossing effectively include:

  • Company logos or as accents surrounding logos.
  • Borders or highlights surrounding images.
  • Elegant accents for distinctive symbols, images, graphics, or lines.
  • In seals or symbols of authenticity to add security to government forms, legal documents, and corporate papers.

Foil Stamping

When a specific area of your design requires a stylish, non-tarnishing metallic finish, it is easily accomplished using a process referred to as foil stamping or hot stamping. With this process, you can add a high-quality reflective accent to specific areas of your design that simply using metallic inks can’t achieve.

Metallic inks, which are similar to standard printing inks, provide a rather subdued, simulated metallic appearance. The natural tendency of the ink to be absorbed into the stock contributes to a less vibrant appearance; however, true metallic foils are not absorbed into the substrate and therefore provide a much more realistic and effective metallic finish.

A wide selection of foil colors, finishes, and effects are available for foil stamped pieces. Standard gold and silver metallic finishes are most often used, but other colors can provide a reflective metallic effect as well. Marble, leather, wood, snakeskin, and pearl effects are among finishes that are available. Other effects, such as geometric multidimensional patterns can also create a stand out piece that captures attention.


There is fierce competition going on in the marketplace for any piece vying for attention. To be effective, every promotional campaign must be catchy or otherwise inviting to the audience. This is true of all promotional mediums, but perhaps even more important for printed materials such as brochures, direct mail, posters and more. To stand out and grab attention, one of the most creative and non-conventional methods to use is die-cutting.

Basically, die-cutting is a method adapted in making the same shape out of wood, metal, plastic or fabric in large quantities. To make that happen, a sharp blade is formed into a desired shaped and then mounted on a strong backing. This is called the die. The material that will be cut is placed on a surface and the die is pressed against it. With this procedure, your designed piece can take a fun, creative shape to intrigue your audience.

For example, if you are promoting apple juice, your product brochure might be in the shape of an apple. You can add curves, punch out geometric shapes, cut out a skyline… the possibilities are endless and can add drama and intrigue.

Kick it up with creative finishes

Our sales technicians can walk you through the selection of techniques available, the associated costs, and what will work best with your desired results, timeline and budget.

To determine what finish is best for your printed piece and your budget, call Prisma today. 602-243-5777; ask for Alan McAbee.