Did you know that The Print Authority produces Thermography, or “raised printing?” The Thermography process produces a 3-D printed effect that mimics engraving, but is much less expensive.

This 3-D effect is achieved while the ink is still wet from an offset printed sheet. Once that sheet comes off the press, the paper is run through a machine that coats the entire sheet with a powdered resin. The resin adheres only to the wet ink and is removed from unprinted areas. That sheet then passes through a heating unit which melts the resin. As the resin melts, it draws up the underlying ink and cures instantly, raising the ink on the surface of the paper.

The 3-D glossy effect of Thermography makes a printed piece unique in the way it catches light and feels to the touch. It is a great application for stationery, invitations, business cards and note cards.

Design Tips

  1. Showcase your raised design on only one side of a sheet. Thermography can only be printed on one side of a sheet because the resin on the back of a sheet will re-melt when run through the machine a second time.
  2. Feature thermography as a special design effect by utilizing both flat and raised printing in your design. This is a beautiful feature in many thermographed invitations. While many thermographed business cards have the entire design raised, it can be a nice effect to mix raised and flat printing for business cards as well.
  3. Avoid large areas of ink coverage. When large areas are thermographed, it often creates an orange-peel texture. Large areas of ink are also subject to inconsistent resin coverage.
  4. Avoid very small text, especially when using delicate scripts and serifed fonts. Small text can “plug in” or fill with resin when it melts.
  5. Avoid gradients, screens, and thin strokes. Thin strokes and screens (shades and gradients) have so little ink applied that the resin may not properly adhere, leaving areas where there is little or no raised ink.
  6. Avoid using thermography near the edge of a sheet, especially areas that bleed. When the paper is trimmed, the difference in thickness in raised/flat areas can result in pinching and/or wrinkling of the sheet.

If you have design or technical questions, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!