Thermography, Foil Stamping, and more- Ways to Make your Product Pop

Finishing and Coating your Print Product

Everyone is looking for a way to make their products stand out. If, you use Thermography on a business card, foil stamping on your invitations, or UV on your brochures, you know that adding a little extra to your print products can make them stand out from the rest. There are a number of ways to beef up your pieces and make a unique impression. You may be looking for a unique feel or to add some protection. Either way, you should know the available options and what their benefits are.

Thermography

Thermography or raised ink is the process of heating ink to make it bubble and rise. Thermography Business CardsThis can be done in a variety of colors and creates a 3D print effect that is unmistakable and impressive. Business cards, invitations, envelopes, and various promotional materials often use Thermography as a tool. It is a lower cost option than embossing.

Embossing

Embossing also creates a 3D effect on your print product. It is less glossy than thermography but allows you a variety of options. From multi level embossing, to blind embossing, to embossing with foil stamping, there are a number of ways to create a classic look.

Foil Stamping

Foil Stamping creates a majestic product. It uses a metallic foil applied with a heated dye. It creates an unmistakable printed product that is often used by large corporations on annual reports or letterhead.Foil Stamped Business Cards

If, you would like to make an impression that will leave people with a sense of awe, Foil Stamping is the option to go with.

UV or Spot UV

UV is a coating, which, creates a unique glossy look and a layer of protection. Spot UV is applying this process only to a specific area.Spot UV Business Card | mmprint.com
UV offers some protection from outside elements, while, making your print product shine brightly.
Spot UV enhances the look of a certain area of your item. Lighting reflects only in certain angles to make the spot element almost a holographic effect.

 

Aqueous Coating

Aqueous Coating offers a clear coat to protect your printed product from fingerprints and dirt. Aqueous Coating Business Cards
Presentation Folders, Catalogs, and Booklets often use this coating. It helps to increase the quality of the paper, while adding gloss. Aqueous Coating is Eco Friendly as it water based.

Spot Varnish

Spot Varnish is a finish, which, adds gloss and depth to a particular area of a printed product.Catalog Spot Varnish Cover A flood varnish is less common and covers the entire page or surface. Like Spot UV, Spot Varnish adds shine to a specific area.

 

 

Soft Touch Coating

Soft Touch Coating is increasing in popularity as it adds a plush feel and does not affect the look of the item.Suede cards 19 pt with velvet lamination The soft texture invites people to feel and touch the printed product it is coating. Business cards really see the benefits of a finish like this. Soft Touch Coating is also environmentally friendly.

Lamination

Lamination is a common process, which, adds coating to the front and back of the printed item.Laminated Menu It creates protection from creasing, fading, wrinkling, and water. For the latter reason, it is extremely popular with menu printing. There is also a process called velvet lamination, which, is similar to soft touch coating.

Combinations

There are opportunities to combine two or more of some of the coatings and finishes discussed above. It is best to contact a print professional to discuss what options are available for your project. We can, also, determine what suits your needs and budget. There are certain options, which, cannot be combined. So, it is important to speak with a print professional to decide which options are right for your next project.

 

Printing Terms Infographic – Color Quick Guide

We strongly believe that an informed customer can make all the difference in print jobs going smoothly and without misunderstandings. I’m sure it goes for any industry.

We strive to offer a unique and pleasant experience when working with us. By providing our customers with informative collateral we not only educate our customer, but we also ease the lines of communication which instills confidence in our customer that what they are ordering is exactly what they want. It’s logical, it makes sense.

With the recent popularity and practicality found in infographics, we decided to release a series of Quick Guides of printing terms and print related infographics to offer to our customers and anyone else who can use them. Please feel free to share this!

For a more in-depth look at color, visit our Colorful Guide to Understanding Color.

Printing Terms Color Quick Guide

 

 

 

 

PANTONE® PLUS Digital Libraries for Adobe Creative Suite®

Pantone® has released a Quick and Easy installer for their Pantone Plus+® Digital Libraries for the Adobe® Creative Suite® (CS). This installer copies the necessary swatch files into the correct folders and replaces the original Pantone swatches included with your Adobe CS suite.

The installer includes the following PANTONE PLUS Color Libraries:

  • PANTONE+ Solid Coated
  • PANTONE+ Solid Uncoated
  • PANTONE+ Color Bridge Coated
  • PANTONE+ Color Bridge Uncoated
  • PANTONE+ Premium Metallics Coated
  • PANTONE+ Pastels & Neons Coated
  • PANTONE+ Pastels & Neons Uncoated
  • PANTONE+ CMYK Coated
  • PANTONE+ CMYK Uncoated

System Requirements
Microsoft® operating systems: Windows® XP, Windows Vista™ and Windows 7
Apple operating systems: Mac OS X 10.4 or later

Download your Free Pantone Plus+ Color Library for PC or Mac

 

Pantone Plus Series Digital Swatch Giveaway

Magical Graphic Design: Houdini

Harry Houdini with his mother and wifeHarry Houdini once said:

My brain is the key that sets my mind free.”

As designers, the key is to keep the creativity fresh and inspired. Thinking outside of the box and out of the ordinary.

Harry Houdini was a creative innovator. His public acclamation came from showing people what they had never seen before, making that which was thought impossible seem possible. Although, for him it was a daily routine. He said it best:

“My professional life has been a constant record of disillusion, and many things that seem wonderful to most men are the every-day commonplaces of my business.”

Yet his inspiration is suggestive of the inspiration that drives a graphic designer to keep designing whether for profit or not: To go beyond the norm and create or build fantasy where none is found.

Here are some fascinating designs inspired by or dedicated to Harry Houdini:

 

The Great Houdini

The Great Houdini by Tena Letica

 

Houdini Records

Houdini Records

Harry Houdini by Derkert

Harry Houdini by Derkert

 

Houdini by Google

Houdini by Google

 

The Handcuff King

Houdini - The Handcuff King

 

Magic by Cruenta

Magic by Cruenta

 

A Kind of Magic by ReptileCynrik

A Kind of Magic by ReptileCynrik

 

Have any Magical Design Tricks to Share? Please do so in the Comments Below

Easy Photoshop Color Splash Tutorial for Photos and Images


Color Splash Black and White Photo - Plant through Brick

Color Splash Photos with Photoshop

Photoshop Color splash is a method for emphasizing areas or objects inside of black and white photographs, with color. Very popular with wedding pictures and vintage photography, color splashing gives images an extra dimension of beauty: Color can be used creatively to change the perception of the image.

 

Step 1: Duplicate the Layer

Duplicate Layer in PhotoshopPhotoshop has several different ways to duplicate layers. The one in the image is probably the easiest:

Right-click on the layer and click “Duplicate Layer…”. This will make a duplicate layer above the original.

As you become more familiar with Photoshop you will find that keyboard shortcuts make certain actions faster to do than going through the menus and right clicking. With some practice it becomes a reflex such as typing; you know what keys to press without even thinking about it.

Duplicate Layer Keyboard Shortcut: CTRL + J (PC) or Command +J (Mac)

Step 2: Desaturate the New Layer

Desaturate Layer in Photoshop

Desaturation is a different process in comparison to converting an image to grayscale or a black and white yet renders the same visual effect. Desaturation occurs by pushing the CMYK values of the image towards their respective grey tone.

Photoshop automates this function for us using the Desaturate Adjustment

The two easiest ways to Desaturate a layer are as follows:

*Make sure you have the new layer selected in the Layers palette.

Click: Image>Adjustments>Desaturate.

Desaturate Layer Keyboard Shortcut:

Press Shift + CTRL + U (PC)
OR Shift + Command + U (Mac)

 

At this point you should see a black and white photo like this:

Desaturated Flower Girl in Photoshop

Step 3: Adding Color with the History Brush

Photoshop History Brush Tool

The History Brush Tool can be used to restore color and other attributes to an image from an earlier state in its history.

Once we desaturate the image, the original color becomes part of that image’s history. By using the History Brush Tool we can then selectively restore parts of the desaturated image to its original color version. In short, we are erasing the desaturation back to color except only where we want the color to appear.

Select the History Brush Tool by clicking on it in the tools palette.

*Make sure your new desaturated layer is selected in the layers palette.

History Brush Tool Keyboard Shortcut: Press the letter Y (Mac or PC)

Begin by setting the brush size to 200px and 0% Hardness.
This gives us a large brush size to work with and the 0% hardness creates a faded finish around the edges of the brush so that we do not end up with a hard edge:

 

Photoshop Brush Hardness Comparison

Now you can begin coloring in the parts that you would like to have color. Adjust your brush size accordingly to get into those tight spaces and remember that you can zoom in to make sure you add nice clean details to your image.

Brush Size Keyboard Shortcut:

  • Increase Size = [ (Mac or PC)
  • Decrease Size = ] (Mac or PC)

Take a look at the Color Splash I did in Photoshop for this tutorial, it took me less than 10 minutes:

 

Color Splash Using Photoshop History Brush

Experimenting with the history brush and different brush shapes for that matter can result in some unique and/or abstract photo manipulations.

 

Show us your skills! Tell us about your color splash project below..