Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Printing and Etiquette

The kind of printing you use is another important factor in the overall quality of your stationery. Engraving is the highest quality printing. The words and symbols to be printed are cut (preferably by hand) onto a metal plate and then transferred to the paper. You can tell real engraving by its slightly raised, embossed quality and by turning the paper over to see whether the reverse of the printing is slightly indented. The indentation is the result of the force of the engraving plate as it is applied to the paper. Engraving is the most costly means of printing.
Although other options are, mercifully, available, none makes the quality statement that engraving does. (A client once told me that he retained my company’s services because, all other factors being equal, our engraved stationery projected depth and quality.) Raised lettering, or thermography, imitates the look of engraving, but cannot approach the quality. You can identify thermography by how easily the printing flakes off when you scratch it with your fingernail. It is the pretender to engraving, and personally, I think you should decide either to engrave or not. Stationery, like people, ought not to pretend to be something that it isn’t.
Most printing involves a process known as offset lithography. It is the least expensive method but, with good design, can achieve a high-quality image.

1 comment:

david said...

It should be noted that not all engraving is equal in terms of quality. There are many commercial engravers that have a philosophy of processing as many orders as possible in a given day without attention to detail. If you have a little patience and require the highest quality result I suggest looking for an artisan engraver that is passionate about their craft. It might take a bit longer and cost a little more but well worth it. To find out more visit.