Cassette At Work

The WOW factor of Your Printed Pieces

How do you make your marketing material stand out from the crowd? Digital content and digital printing have made marketing much cheaper than in previous years, but expanding your budget a little to produce content with a “wow factor” can give you a high value return on your marketing dollar.

The Print Industry Association of Australia and the Lithographic Institute of Australia are preparing themselves for a new trend which is sweeping the U.S., as printed communication goes through a resurgence of embellished marketing. Embellishments are all the decorative details that allow your printed material to stand out. Finishing techniques include foil stamping, embossing, debossing, cutting, and a special UV coating. They can draw attention to a specific part of your marketing, or add artistic detail to make your customers feel appreciated.

In a world where digital media can be reproduced and shared at no cost, the extra touch of embellishments is a great way to show your customers that you value their business, and that you’re prepared to offer a better quality product or service than your competitors.

The small run capability of digital printing has made the extra cost of embellishments a reasonable option. Businesses today have found that it is more rewarding to target quality customers, than it is to use a scattergun approach to a larger audience. Embellishments are the perfect way to approach to your target market, and the retro appeal infers a promise of reliable, customised, old fashion service.

The current trend in the U.S. is likely to add to the choices businesses have to embellish their printed material, but here are a few options to get you thinking about how you can use embellished printing as part of your marketing.

1Embossing: This is the process of stamping an image or pattern onto paper so that it is raised against the background.

Debossing: The opposite of embossing, debossing is when you stamp an image or pattern into paper so that it is sunken into the surface. Debossing works best on thick uncoated papers, book covers, and leather.

Registered embossing: This is embossing in line with another image created in ink, foil, punching in, or another embossed image.

Combination embossing: Embossing used in combination with foil stamping of the same image.

2Thermography: Also known as “Verko”, this is a multistage process originally used to imitate engraving. It produces a raised print effect, and is popular in business cards, greeting cards, letterheads, and certificates.

Foiling: Foiling is a technique where foil is applied instead of ink. The pigment of the foil is often gold or silver, but other metallics and pigments may also be used. The effect can be quite striking when combined with embossing. This style is especially popular with wedding businesses and photographers.

4Die cutting: Die cutting is the process of cutting various types of material to a customised shape. Business cards and invitations are good applications for die cutting.

Spot UV: A popular coating technique which is high impact, affordable, and versatile. A gloss coat is applied to card stock and cured with UV light. It can draw attention to specific parts of a design by contrasting textures, sealing in colour, adding shine, and protecting the print underneath.