Frankly Speaking: 9 Ideas for Making Print Pop
Some offset press manufacturers have long had integrated foil stamping capabilities on their sheetfed press lines. Foil stamping is a special finishing operation at additional cost, but one that adds significant value. The vibrancy of foil colors attracts immediate attention. Walter Zacharius, visionary founder and chairman emeritus of Kensington Publishing (who died March 2, 2011, at age 87), had an impact on American book publishing that touched on every aspect of the business: He was the first to use glossy foil stamp and other special effects on book jackets.
Different from foil stamping, printing gold, silver and other metallic colors have long been a challenge. New digital printers, especially inkjets, are handling these effects with ease. I recall a copy of "Fahrenheit 451" with a cover that was faux aluminum. It certainly demanded attention.
Laser die cutting has provided many creative opportunities for using interesting openings on the cover. In the old days, squares and circles were common, but now you can have any shape. The die-cut hole reveals copy or an image on the first page of the book block.
This function still requires special dies that smash into the paper, but new digital techniques are now available. Old letterpress presses are used to provide the pressure to create the raised effects. Embossing is the process used to raise an impression on the surface of a substrate. There are a number of different effects that can be achieved through embossing. Single-level, multilevel, domed, sculptured and beveled are some of the most commonly used embossing techniques. Several different metals are used to make embossing dies, such as magnesium, copper and brass, though brass dies are the first choice of the embosser.
There are no dies in digital embossing. Scodix has an inkjet device that deposits layers of special inkjet ink to create texture. The Kodak NexPress has its Dimensional Clear capability. The result adds "feeling" to a printed image. Images of water drops, for instance, pop off the page.