The world of design and print can be a minefield and especially daunting when we start to talk about the different finishes available. But it doesn’t need to be. The value in elevating a design with a special feature can lift the most simple of projects and take it from plain to eye catching without breaking the bank. When used subtly, a print finish can add a tactile level of class and it’s something we, at Mercer, really love to use. Let’s guide you through a couple of the most common finishes and why we suggest using them.
What is it?
Singer sewn book binding is a simple, stylish, and elegant binding method. This technique consists of sewing a visible thread across the entire spine, giving printed projects a traditional touch - very similar to standard saddle stitching, except thread is used to stitch the pages together rather than them being stapled. Singer Sewn binding is recognisable by its stitched spine, which allows for the brochure to lie flat once opened. Although one of the most simplest bindings, it brings a modern and stylish aesthetic.
Why use it?
Singer sewn binding is a simplistic, yet stylish way of bringing a project together and it’s unfussy nature creates a clean finish. Being able to open a brochure flat yet securely stitched, means that content isn’t lost to the gutter (the middle part of a bound booklet). The stitches can be left hanging at either end for a more rustic look, or they can be cut clean for something more polished look. Used on this school prospectus, we added the sewn binding to bring some contrast to the super smart, embossed card cover and allow for the photography within to be experienced without losing any detail. The tactile feel of the binding brought a beautiful level of personal interaction to the school prospectus.
What does it mean?
We’ve all seen those beautiful invitations or book covers which have a tactile indentation element to them. That will be down to the process of either emboss or debossing. To emboss or deboss is to use metal plates to press or imprint your design into the product you’re customizing. Embossing results in a design that’s raised up from the surrounding material, and debossing results in a design that’s stamped down or recessed into the surrounding material.
Why use it?
Using a finish adds interest to even the most simple design, adding focus to a certain element on the page or creating a texture to break up the monotony of blank space. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing embossed or debossed printing techniques. Both are great for giving printed pieces a contemporary feel and at the end of the day, it’s all about what’s best for your project. However, the key difference between the two techniques - other than one being a raised design and the other being indented, is that debossing doesn’t interfere with the other side of your stock. Therefore, it gives you both sides to work with, which isn’t the case with embossing.The power of touch should never be underestimated in print marketing. Whether it’s embossed or debossed printing, they both add unique textures which feel good in the readers’ hands by providing a captivating effect. It’s something they don’t feel or see every day. By investing more into your print by adding finishing options like embossing and debossing, it communicates a much higher quality and value with your customers. On this example, rather than just embossing a logo in one position, we introduced an emboss to create pattern and flow to a brochure cover. It added gravitas to a project which was printed simply.
What does it mean?
Hot foil stamping is one of the most desired and unique finishes in print. Foil printing uses heat, pressure and metallic paper (foil) to create its effect. Foil printing is incredibly popular and is now so much more easily accessible. Some may say, overused, but when used tastefully and in a clever way, it can still add a decorative effect to a product to enhance the brands tone. It’s not just metallic colours either - neons, solid colours and holographic elements are available which can all build an incredible effect.
Why use it?
Foil printing adds another dimension to your printed project, making it more eye-catching and visually appealing. It adds another layer of quality to your printed marketing and communications is something which should be considered when you are looking to make any specific element within your project really stand out. Used on this school prospectus, we brought attention to a specific logo detail and added a sophisticated quality to a simple grey cover stock. The layering of a textured grey against a metallic foiled grey was subtle and refined and gave that first suggestion of prestige to the rest of the document.We’d love to hear what people think of this post and, if we can help you or your business elevate their brand!
Sector: Design & Print