Understanding Engraving

Brand, Design

Engraving is the most distinguished and oldest forms of raised printing; a true craft in its own right; dating back to the 1500’s. Sadly, thermography is often mistaken for engraving but with a trained eye, you will see the distinct differences between the two.

The engraving process (intaglio) or “raised printing” is achieved by imposing ink onto paper under immense pressure to create raised images. The image or copy is etched into metal plates. The recessed images are filled with ink and applied under two tons of pressure per square inch, leaving a raised image with astounding clarity and color purity and depth.

Thermography on the other hand, while achieving a similar raised look is created by dispensing a plastic powder resin over wet lithography ink. The ink and powder are fused together when dried creating a shiny raised image.

While both images are “raised” there are noticeable differences between the two. Engraving leaves a “bruise” on the back side of the paper from the pressure, which is easily covered up in the mounting process. Thermography does not. Thermography gives off a shiny bubble like appearance when examined closely. Engraving’s image is clean, clear and crisp.

Why engraving? Engraving is unlike any other printing technique. Truly the most elegant form of printing; used by professionals and designers alike to express the highest degree of professionalism and attention to detail. Aimed at the highest of clientele to catch their eye and leave the lasting impression your brand desires. Engraving may cost slightly more than thermography or embossing but yields the highest ROI due to its undeniable look and feel.

Restrictions do apply– Engraving’s image size is limited. Its maximum sheet size is 18” X 23” and an image size of 5.5” X 9”. Bruising on the back limits double sided engraving when not mounted.


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