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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

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Die Cuts, Embossing, and Paper Textures Make Your Invitations Stand Out (Part #1)

As as extension of the last PIE Blog entry on my invitations project, I want to suggest some unique things you can do with paper and finishing techniques when you’re designing an invitation:

Die-Cutting and Embossing

  • Start with a printing stock that has a pattern. Neenah Classic Columns is a good choice, with regularly spaced columns embossed into the paper. Then blind emboss the name of the company onto this sheet. The company name will seem to rise up out of the paper, like words chiseled out of stone. It’s classy and elegant. You can make the colums run up and down, or side to side, on the page depending on whether your design is mostly horizontal or mostly vertical. (link to brochures and direct mail packages)
  • Do the same thing as above, and then accent part of the design with clear foil (foil for foil stamping now comes in metallics, clear foil, pastels, and a myriad of other colors). This will give a sheen to part of the page without adding color. It will accentuate the base color of the printing sheet.
  • Choose a multi-level embossed design. This gives a more sculptural effect. Many embossed images are flat plateaus rising above the surrounding paper. Perhaps the edges are beveled (slanted), but basically it’s a one level design. An interesting option would be to have your supplier create a multi-level die (an embossed leaf, for example, that has many levels and nuances just like a real leaf plucked off a tree).
  • Consider debossing the artwork. Whereas embossing raises the image up off the page, debossing lowers it below the surface of the sheet.
  • Foil stamp an image on a translucent printing sheet. “Glama” is an example of this kind of paper. You can see through the printing sheet slightly, and this creates a nice contrast between the paper and (for instance) a balanced, centered type treatment foil-stamped onto the paper. Classic.
  • For a wintry snow-scene invitation, emboss the image of a building on the printing sheet and then scatter foil-stamped stars around the embossed image. (link to postcards and notecards)

The key-word is “unique.” Do something your client (or the end-user) doesn’t expect.

4 Responses to “Die Cuts, Embossing, and Paper Textures Make Your Invitations Stand Out (Part #1)”

  1. Free Vector says:

    Thanks, I’m sure readers will find it helpful and Free vector is also worth
    visiting if you’re looking for free vector graphics.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for suggesting the vector web site. I’m glad you find our printing blog useful.

  2. Awesome issues here. I am very glad to see your articles. Thank you so much.


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