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The ornate detail of Hot-stamped foiling

the ornate detail

of hot-stamped foiling

printing terminology  |  beautiful invitations

Photo by Katie Parra

If you’ve been on the hunt for wedding invitations, there’s a pretty good chance you have come across many with images of shiny gold or silver metallic designs pressed into a variety of cotton and other stationery paper. It’s breathtaking, romantic, and it will definitely have you take a second glance or maybe even more. This is called foil stamping, and it adds an elegant layer of formal simplicity to your invitation suite. 

A tradition making a come back

Traditional foil stamping is the best way to get a true metallic on your invitation. This process involves creating magnesium or copper die that presses foil onto paper. The die is heated and that enables the foil to release onto the page. If you are using thicker stationery stock, this is works wonders! The foil can be pressed into the page or it can make an almost imperceptible indentation – depending upon the needs of the project.

Most foil is completely opaque so we can use white foil or metallic foil on any darker paper and the result is quite striking. However, some foil is translucent, like our pearl, and is perfect for adding a subtle highlight gloss to graphics.

Magnesium plates hold detail well so they are the way to go with extremely ornate or small details. Whereas copper can’t be as detailed but it does hold up longer if the die will be used multiple times over its lifespan.

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The striking elegance of Embossing and Debossing

the striking elegance of

embossing and debossing

printing terminology  |  beautiful invitations

If you’ve received a wedding invitation in the mail or have been handed a new business card recently, there’s a pretty good chance that you noticed something quite eye-catching on that little piece of paper. You’ve probably noticed the way the letters or images stand out a bit more, or the colors give the illusion of being sunken in. No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. There’s actually a term for those types of printing styles, they are called Embossing and Debossing. Both are uniquely different and have some pretty amazing after effects, so if you are still reading and still interested, we would love to help give you a little run-through on why these styles are so special and why we love them so much. 


To begin, let’s take a moment to break down what exactly these terms mean. There’s a pretty good chance that you have seen Embossing done on wine labels, greeting cards, and even business cards without actually knowing what it was called. Embossing is a printing technique that involves taking a piece of paper, metal, or card stock and producing a raised effect. You may be asking yourself how exactly is this done? The process of Embossing develops by creating a metal plate called a die that features the raised graphic that you would like to have embossed and a counter that is made out of plastic. The plate is then pressed into your paper or card stock which is then pressed into the counter, which results in an embossed graphic. These dies are reusable.

Sculpted Embossing: Typical embossing plates raise to a single height but sculpted dies have multiple levels to create varying amounts of relief. The result is extraordinary and will truly set apart your stationery. It’s a great application for crests, flowers, landscapes – anything that could benefit from a little more detail.


Debossing is quite similar to Embossing, it is just performed oppositely. Rather than pressing the metal die underneath the print stock, this involves applying it on the top. If you have different types of texts or other artwork, these can be pressed down into the material leaving a beautiful indentation. A counter is not required in the case of Debossing.

‘Blind’ Debossing and Embossing

Also known as “Blind Printing” is where there is no ink used during that printing set. This method of printing is pretty popular here at Perfect Press. Our customers love it because it creates a very unique and eye-catching element to both invitations and business cards.

Why Embossing and Debossing?

Embossing and Debossing are great techniques, especially if there are certain parts of your work that you want to highlight. They are great for monograms, names, graphics, or any eye-catching information. Both of these techniques add an extra layer of mystery and aesthetic beauty.  Embossing and Debossing creates a clean, crisp, and polished finish to the look you are trying to achieve.

Which will you choose?

Both embossing and debossing are great print techniques no matter which one you choose. If you want your wedding invitations or business cards to really stand out, take them up a notch with pure sophistication. You can’t go wrong, and the result is that you will fall in love and be happy you made that best fits your printing needs.

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The allure of letterpress printing

the allure of

letterpress printing

printing terminology  |  beautiful invitations

Letterpress is absolutely stunning which is why it is one of our favorite styles to create as artist and stationers. You have probably heard the term “letterpress” more than once, but what exactly is it that makes this form of printing so uniquely beautiful? It is a classic form of printing that has been modernized, but its true nature of beauty and authenticity remains unchanged. The letterpress printing technique has evolved over the years. Historically, the printing press – the first method of mass producing anything printed – used letters, carved entire pages of text, or engravings to create the image. The ink merely ‘kissed’ the page and didn’t make an impression. However, today, people seek to have the “pressed” be literal and want the ink really pressed in to create the effect of dimension. Polymer dies have replaced boxes of letters to create an image. Now we print almost any artwork that can be created!


The art of letterpress printing is one of the original printing techniques and is still used today because of the beautiful results that it can produce on cards and invitations.  We use this to give your prints dimension which flat printing can’t do, and it ends up being absolutely spectacular! Printing has changed quite a lot over the years, making it difficult to receive the same results through modern technology, which is why us paper nerds love this reimagined historic technique!

How does it work?

When letterpressing, an inked roller coats the elevated portion (the design) of a polymer die and then is pressed into paper. The raised portion applies the ink as well as indents the surface of the paper, giving your paper dimensionality.  We use soft papers that are “fluffy” so that the fibers can be condensed and the impression is accentuated.

This technique is similar to blind debossing. The difference is “blind” refers to the lack of ink. The design is pressed into the paper fibers leaving the paper showing through. While polymer plates are used for letterpressing on our original Heidelberg machine, debossing plates can be metal or polymer.  

Why letterpress?

Letterpress is one of our favorites around here. It is classic and timeless. Combined with a cotton paper, it feels and looks very lux. Whether you have a special wedding day coming up, or you just want to jazz up those business cards, Letterpress is definitely a way to make to make a statement if you want to leave a lasting impression (pun intended).