Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

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.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

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.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Commercial Printing: Sappi Paper Book Revisited

I continued perusing the Sappi Standard #5, and I saw some other custom printing and finishing options I wanted to share with you. This print book is just too good to summarize in one PIE Blog posting.

Metallic Foils

On one page of this print book, the Sappi paper company designer has included a robot composed primarily of contrasting metallic foils that seem to move and blink as you shift the paper. Small portions of the robot were created with process ink for contrast, but the majority of the design plays solid metallics against metallics composed of reflective dots and holographic foils.

Such an effect can be accomplished by your commercial printing supplier using custom metal dies to cut through the foil material, and then heat and pressure to affix the foil to the substrate. The printer can do one or multiple passes to lay down any number of different foils. If the design includes any offset custom printing work, this would be done on a separate pass using different press equipment.

Metallic foil provides a striking effect, but you might also consider colored pearlescent foils, white foil, patterned foil, or even transparent foil. Some metallic foil effects don’t even require actual metallic film. The Sappi Standard #5 describes liquid foil, which is actually a UV coating. It looks and behaves like an ink, so it can be added inline on an offset press, but once it has dried, it gives the impression of a metal foil. Sappi notes that this product goes by the following names: Mirafoil, Liquid Foil, and Super Silver.

In addition, you might even want to apply foil to a press sheet and then emboss the area to make it really stand out.


Embossing raises an image off the page, and debossing lowers the image below the surface of the paper. The Standard #5 includes a number of embossed effects, including a rubberized spy coat (covered in soft-touch UV coating) with various spy tools hidden in the coat, such as listening devices, a magnifying glass, and a small motorcycle. All of these are slightly raised off the page using blind embossing (a process using a metal die, heat, and pressure, but no separate ink or foil). In these cases, the raised image itself creates the design under the already printed image of the coat.

As a designer, you might want to go one step further and create a sculpted emboss. This process still uses a metal die, but it includes more nuances in the multiple levels of the die, creating a more sculptural, carved look.

Commercial printing suppliers use various metals for these dies. For shorter runs with less complexity in the dies, copper and magnesium are appropriate, but for complex, multilevel dies or long press runs, brass is a better choice, since it is a more durable metal.


The Sappi Standard #5 also includes samples of a technique called “flocking,” which involves applying an adhesive to a portion of a press sheet , and then adding small particles of a natural or synthetic substance to the adhesive area. Sappi created a white Abominable Snowman on a bright white press sheet to demonstrate this technique. The artist gave the image a white, raised, fur-like coating using flocking material. Once the flocking material had been added to the adhesive surface, the custom printing vendor vacuumed away the flocking particles that were not on the adhesive image area, thus creating the image of the Abominable Snowman. On a separate pass, the printer had already defined the face and hands of the creature using 4-color process offset lithography.

Reticulated Varnish

This is an effect that appears to have originated as a mistake. When the viscosity of a UV coating is increased past a certain point, it can no longer be spread evenly on a press sheet. So the coating beads up a bit, creating a stippled, or granular, appearance.

On the page opposite the Abominable Snowman, The Standard #5 has included a barely visible image of Sasquatch using reticulated varnish. The reticulated varnish effect allows for a subtle contrast between the background foliage and the body of the creature. Reticulated varnish is not quite as even as sandpaper UV coating, and it has a larger, more visible patterning. Therefore, it appears to be a special effect aimed more at the visual rather than the tactile senses.

These Books Are Great Sources for Ideas

As noted before, it behooves you to collect books of sample printing techniques. Not only will they teach you how these effects can be achieved by your commercial printing shop, but they will give you fresh ideas for your graphic design. In addition, you can always show the effects to your custom printing supplier to help you articulate the exact “look” you want to achieve.

2 Responses to “Commercial Printing: Sappi Paper Book Revisited”

  1. cutting dies says:

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog. Good luck!


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved