Business Cards- Imprint Processes

Full Color Process - Flat and Raised

Full color process printing combines four basic colors – cyan, magenta, yellow, and black – to create multiple colors and a lasting impression. Full color raised printing adds texture and dimension.

Standard and PMS Inks

Standard inks are ink colors that are most commonly used. Standard ink colors include: Black, Brown, Burgundy, Dark Blue, Green, Gray, Light Blue, Red, Reflex Blue, and Teal.
PMS inks are any specific ink numbers requested from the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM®, Pantone Inc.’s check-standard trademark for color reproduction and color reproduction materials.

Flat Printing

Flat printing, also called lithography, is a printing process in which the image area is neither raised nor depressed.
Offset printing presses are most often used to transfer the image from a plate to a rubber blanket. The image is then printed from the blanket on the printing press to the paper.

Raised Printing

Sometimes known as thermography, raised printing is a process in which a special powder is applied to the ink after the ink has been applied to the paper.
The paper is then run through a heat source which causes the ink to “rise.”

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping, also known as hot stamping, is a process that uses heat and pressure along with metallic foil material to stamp a design or text onto paper.
The look of the finished product is similar to ink but is generally very shiny in appearance.
This process is done using a metallic die and is one dimensional (flat).

Foil Embossing

Foil embossing, also referred to as hot leaf embossing, is a combination of both the embossing and foil stamping process. This can be done in two steps (as illustrated in the individual definitions of “embossing” and “foil stamping”) or in one step using a foil emboss, or “hot leaf emboss,” die.
A foil embossing die can be single or multilevel. This process requires both heat and pressure to push the design through the back of the paper into the foil and die at the same time.
The resulting effect is a raised metallic image on the front of the paper.

Blind Embossing

Embossing is an ink free process in which a design or text is pushed into the back of the paper using pressure. This is typically done using a metallic die and a counter die.
The counter die forces the paper into the shape of the die from the back side of the paper. The resulting appearance of the front of the paper is a raised representation of the intended design.
This design can either be single level (one dimensional raised design) or multiple level (three-dimensional design created with a brass die).
This process can also be done with ink or foil and can.

Blind Debossing

Debossing is an ink free process similar to embossing. However, instead of pressing a design from the back of the stock to create a raised image, debossing presses the design into the stock to create an image depressed into the stock.
This process can also be done with ink or foil and can.


Engraving is a process that resembles embossing in nature and uses pressure and ink. A die with an image or text etched into it is coated with ink.
The excess ink around the non-imaging area of the die is wiped clean. The remaining ink resides only in the printable area of the die.
This image is then pressed into the front of the paper. The resulting appearance is a slightly raised ink.

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