Sometimes it seems like the print finishing industry has a language all of its own. This months Tech Tip provides an overview to technical terminology used by Kluge both verbally and throughout our web site and printed materials.
Final drawings or stats in high-contrast black-and-white, used to reproduce the image with all blemishes and imperfections removed.
The edge of an embossed or debossed area made to a specific angle to the paper plane. These Beveled edges range from 30 to 80 degrees from the paper and image planes.
Raising or lowering the image without color or foil. Reshaping the paper fiber produces the image.
Blanking refers to the process of separating a die cut sheet. Once a sheet has been die cut, the next step in the converting, or finishing process, is to separate the good material (the part you want) from the waste (or trim). The removed die cut piece is called a “blank.” See the “What is Blanking?” page for more information.
Opposite of panel. Referred to as a line to be printed, stamped, embossed or debossed. It is open inside its perimeter, rather than solid.
A shape put into embossed or debossed images resembling a V-shape.
Having design elements fit each other through various press operations, such as printing, embossing, foil stamping, folding or die cutting.
Countercast Epoxy Glass Board
Extremely hard product specifically designed for crisp, clean stamping application and for long running jobs.
Countercast Phenolic Board
A very hard make-ready board mounted on the platen press for extra sharp detail when flat stamping.
Countercast Polyurethane Sheet
Used as flat stamping counter for large coverage applications. An excellent make-ready board for holograms.
Lowering the image below the paper level.
For die manufacturers click here.
A female die used to emboss and hot stamp simultaneously. It has a cutting rule to aid in a clean cut of the foil around the image area.
A male counterpart molded from the original female dies used to press the paper into the die to emboss or deboss. It is usually made of epoxy, fiberglass or other resins (precast counter).
Piercing the paper or other substrate with a knife-edge steel blade. These can be straight single cuts, slots for the insertion of other items, or holes cut to any shape or size.
In embossing dies, molded duplicates made from the original die. These can be made of various materials but are usually bakelite or metal compositions. Used to cut costs when making multiple dies.
The female die hand-sculptured, machine-tooled or photo-etched. Used to emboss or reshape the paper under heat and pressure.
See ‘Combination die‘.
Die Heating Plate
See ‘Hot Plate‘.
The process of carving, machining or hand finishing images, or shapes into a metal die. These dies are three-dimensionally tooled as opposed to an engraving. The embossing dies are female (recessed) and are used as mold for reshaping paper or other substrate.
A photo-etched or machined die used to flat stamp foil to paper or other substrate.
Die, Steel Rule
A cutting die used on letterpresses to pierce or cut out paper. Made type high (.918″) with 1/32″ thick steel blades, or rules, cut and bent to specific patterns and mounted in a wooden base. The steel blades have knife-like cutting edges.
A shape put into embossed or debossed images resembling a semi-circle or half-moon.
Read the ‘Designer’s Guide to Foil Stamping and Embossing‘ for more information.
Raising the image above the paper level.
To mark, print or incise letters or designs onto a surface, usually paper, with a photo-etched and hand-finished die. The die, or engraving, is usually metal, although it can be stone, wood or other materials. Engravings are one level and shallow to carry ink in the recessed areas of the die before transferring the ink to the paper.
Read the ‘Designer’s Guide to Foil Stamping and Embossing‘ for more information.
For foil manufacturers click here.
General term for hot stamping material, consisting of a film carrier (usually polyester) coated with a release agent, a color (lacquer) coat or metallized aluminum, and an adhesive coat, in that order.
Raising the image and applying foil at the same time with one press run, as with a combination foil embossing die.
Foils utilizing a bronze powder on the carrier. Easily applied, but easily rubbed off without an over-coating. Limited colors available.
Foils, Flat Pigment
Opaque foils of intense color, resembling flat paint.
Transparent foils glossy in appearance.
Foils, Gloss Pigments
Opaque foils of intense color, resembling glossy enamel paint.
Foil that has holographic images embossed into it, allowing the viewer to view the stamped holographic image in three-dimensional without special glasses.
Metallized aluminum foils available in many colors, either shiny (mirror) or satin in their finish. The most widely used foils are gold and silver.
Foils manufactured with specific patterns rather than one color. These range from wood grains, marble, or multi-colors to the new three-dimensional holographic patterns or images. A wide variety of designs are available.
Similar to gloss foils, having translucent pearl color. Choice of colors limited.
Foils, Tint or Pastel
Flat or dull translucent stamping foil. Can be applied in varying degrees of color density by changing the press temperature when stamping. Choice of colors available is limited. Can be used with embossing.
Smoothing a textured stock with controlled heat and pressure to give a shiny effect.
The edge of the sheet to be embossed or stamped which is pushed or pulled against a predetermined stop on the press. For registering purposes, the same designated edge is used during all press applications on the sheet.
A three-dimensional picture that is made on a photosensitive glass plate using a laser as the light source. From this plate a shim is made and the image is stamped into a metallic foil. Read the ‘Guide to Hologram Stamping‘ for more information.
Sometimes called the ‘Die Heating Plate’, the hot plate is heated up at two points on the plate. Located underneath the toggle base, the hot plate provides the heat source needed on the die for hot foil stamping and embossing.
Applying foil with the use of heat, pressure, and dwell to various substrates, such as paper, plastic, wood and leather.
Any element of design to be printed, stamped or embossed.
Light or Color Fastness
The ability of foil products to resist fading when exposed to light.
Raising and/or lowering an image two or more levels. Example: A company name raised as a second level or higher level on a panel than the first level.
Background area, as opposed to image area. The carrier, paper or substrate on which the image is printed or stamped.
Paper that is better for embossing because its softer finish has less tendency to wrinkle or crack. Foils will appear less glossy on these stocks. Uncoated, textured sheets may sometimes be very difficult to smooth out when foil stamped.
Reference point for all embossing and debossing.
Sometimes referred to as chemical milling. Image is exposed with a light-sensitive emulsion on film positive or negative, then acid-etched to a specific depth and angle. Depending upon the die function, the image is etched into an embossing die and the non-image area is etched away on a stamping die.
When foil is stamped on PVC or other plastic products, the plasticizer migrates from the foil area to the surface of the plastic piece. The result is the metallic foil will fade.
A short press run for approval by the client prior to the actual production run. It uses the specified paper, inks, dies, etc. for the press operator to “run to” or match in the actual run.
For use in the pour-counter combo stamp process. The excess plastic is peeled away with the vinyl.
Openings in the image where the background or paper show through the printed or foiled areas. Can be either type or design elements.
Changing the paper color in the embossed or debossed area by using excessive heat, which creates a two-toned effect, with the image being the darker tone.
Sharply creasing a material to facilitate folding. It should be made the same direction as the grain of the paper when ease of folding is of prime concern. For greater strength, a score can be made perpendicular to the paper grain.
Raising and/or lowering an image with sculptural realism with any of a variety of shapes, angles, and edges, as opposed to flat levels. Examples: A sculpted image of a person’s face, a bird’s feathers, or the muscle of an athlete.
Raising or lowering an image one flat level from paper level.
Step and Repeat
Same image precisely repeated one or more times horizontally and/or vertically to predetermined distance. These distances from one image to another are referred to as “centers” when measured from a point on one image to the same point on an adjacent image.
Steel honey comb patterned plate to which dies are mounted. The toggle base is located on top of the hot plate through which the heat is transferred to the die. Toggle bases are available as etched, for accurate die mounting, or non-etched versions.
Small steel hooks used to mount the die to the toggle base. The number of hooks needed depends on the size of the die to be mounted.
Toggle Hook Key
Small steel ‘key’ inserted into the toggle hook key bit (see below) and turned to open the bit and tighten the toggle hook inside the honey comb part of the toggle base.
Toggle Hook Key Bit
Inserted into the base of the toggle hook and tightened with the toggle hook key to fasten the toggle hook (and die) to the toggle base.