Brought to you by Neenah
How’d They Do That?
Maximize the details with a super smooth paper surface
When you’re working with the blank canvas of a super smooth paper, you almost want to design in every possible print technique you can fit on the sheet - just to see how a perfectly executed specialty process can look.
With this piece, we get the chance to see four different processes pop off the deep black background of the smooth surface of SLIDE™ Papers. Here, we’ll look at the fine detail of printed metallic ink, a flat foil stamp, a registered emboss, and a registered deboss.
Smooth Paper Makes Detail Magic
At the top of the piece stands a 1 ¼ inch tall Maharaja, litho printed with a metallic silver ink. “What’s remarkable about this small element is how well the ink holds the fine details,” says Carrie Otto, Print Production Manager, Neenah. “This is a very small image, yet you can see all the details, from the jewels in the hat, to the ruffle of the hem, to the pattern in the shoes.”
“An image this size, with so many details, could very easily plug in and wind up looking like a blob. Metallic inks tend to have a little more dot gain so it’s important to let your pressman advise on how far you can push the ink before you start losing detail. The smoothness of your paper will also dictate the level of detail that can be achieved. You can even see expression in his eye!” said Otto.
Perfection and Precision
This gorgeous gold foil stamp with a registered emboss went down in two passes: first, the gold was stamped onto the sheet, and then the emboss was registered to the gold in a second pass. Scott Gasch of Fey Printing says there are instances where you can use a combination die, where you’d run both the foil stamp and the emboss in one pass.
“In general, running the foil stamping and embossing in separate passes allows for greater control. For example, key factors in foil stamping are the pressure and the release. Foil is applied using a heated, metal die, and a precise amount of pressure — too little can cause the foil to lift off the paper, while too much can leave an impression in the sheet. When a die is pulled away from the paper, you want what is known as a ‘clean release.’” says Gasch.
Using a combination die would mean that the same pressure that causes the foil to release would also determine the depth of the emboss, so you are working with one die to get the best results for two different techniques. Fine detail can sometimes be compromised with a combination die. “In a way, a combination die is sort of like a Swiss Army knife: sure it’s convenient, but you’re typically better off working with the specific tool you need for each, individual task,” says Gasch.
Fine Details through Foil Stamping
Foil stamping is an option for a wide variety of designs, from large, solid areas to small, fine details. For instance, the fine line that’s acting as a drop shadow around the 21 shown here is a half-point rule. Textured papers can make it more difficult to work with fine lines and very small type. Ask your printer to recommend an optimal size based on your design and the paper you are specifying.
Next on our super smooth paper, we see a flat black foil stamp, also known as a hot stamp. A foil stamp will not produce a raised image when it’s not combined with an emboss, yet it will add a level of interest to the design. The small type around the logo is 4.35 points.
Here we see that same black foil stamp combined with a registered deboss. The effect creates more visual interest, adding movement to the typography. Because of the sheen of the foil, when the light hits at certain angles it appears as if the type has a drop shadow.
For Best Results…
As with any print production project, Gasch suggests discussing the design with your printer as early in the process as possible to achieve the best design and paper combination for your desired results. “Because of the smooth, plastic-like surface of SLIDE™, we were able to get fine details in the printing, sharp edges on the emboss, and work with very small type — the way this paper performs makes it a perfect packaging paper, optimal for box wrap projects,” said Gasch.
SLIDE™ Papers can be found in the Soft Touch portfolio of The Design Collection.
For more on Neenah Paper and The Design Collection, head right here. And to get a sample of the entire Design Collection, click here.
And follow @NeenahPaper on Instagram for more inspiration!