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F is for Foil Stamp

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Welcome to our #OKalphabetseries where we visit paper and printing terms daily. Come back each day as we weave our way through the alphabet and share our 110 years of knowledge with you.

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F is Foil Stamp
Although foil stamping is a common, well-known special effect these days, the range of possibilities is quite vast. Foil stamping is a heat-stamp process of transferring pigment, clear or metallic foil to paper. It can be combined with embossing to create a dimensional image. Foil stamping is called flat or hot-stamping when there is an absence of dimension. Foil stamping was originally developed to replicate gold leaf in the late nineteenth century. Today, you can find a wide variety of gloss, dull and pastel foils called "pigment" foils along with the traditional range of "metallic" foils. And don't forget those patterned, holographic foils that shimmer with the colors of the rainbow with crazy patterns to delight the eye. Foil stamping brings serious shine to any project. Here are some technical tips:

  • The smoother the surface, the shinier the foil. Coated sheets tend to stamp brighter than uncoated sheets. That said, color and texture lend themselves to beautiful results with foil stamping. Some foils are formulated for different surfaces. Consult your finisher for the right combination and always test.
  • While it is possible to foil stamp fine details, it is difficult to hold open fine reverses. For example, the inside of the letter “e” often plugs up if the type is smaller than 8 points.
  • Foils can be overprinted with ink for even more creative possibilities. Always test the foil to make sure that it allows the ink to properly adhere before going to press.

E is for Emboss

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E is Emboss
The surface of a paper can have an embossed surface texture - for example, linen or felt. This is achieved in paper finishing with male and female steel, cylinder drums that have a textured surface. The paper is passed through or threaded between the drums to impart the finish with heat and pressure.
Embossing is also a printing process in which a design is stamped or pressed (embossed) into the paper to create a gorgeous raised surface onto a printed piece with a die. Often, the dies are heated. Embossing which simply stamps a graphic with no other additional color or decoration is known as a blind emboss. Embossing when combined with a foil is called foil stamping. When combined with printing inks, it is called a registered emboss. Embossing dies can be made of brass, magnesium or copper. Brass is best for long runs. Embossing is generally done after printing.

D is for Duplex

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D is Duplex Paper
Cover weight papers that are produced by laminating together two different colored pieces of paper - usually of equal basis weight. The process produces stiff, durable cover paper that is heavy and strong with excellent printing and folding characteristics. Many duplex papers are available but custom duplexes can be mill ordered with time and run minimums.

C is for Caliper

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C is for CALIPER
Caliper is the thickness of a single sheet of paper, measured in thousandths of an inch, mils or points. Caliper is measured using a micrometer, a device which measures minute thicknesses of paper by applying a static load for a set period of time. Consistency of caliper throughout a manufactured roll of paper is important. Increases or decreases in caliper can affect the extent to which the printing plate or blanket contacts the paper and affects printability and runnability. The thickness of a paper itself varies according to the basis weight desired or end-use considerations. Caliper can be reduced or increased at a variety of stages in the papermaking process. The  amount of pulp, dyes and sizing deposited on the wet end of the paper machine can be reduced or increased. The process of calendaring (rendering surface smoothness) can reduce the thickness of the paper.

B is for Basis Weight

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Welcome to our #OKalphabetseries where we will be visiting paper and printing terms daily. Come back each day as we weave our way through the alphabet and share our 110 years of knowledge with you.

 

B is for BASIS WEIGHT
Paper is commonly identified using basis weight - 24 Writing or a 80 Text, 100 Cover. Weighing 500 sheets (a ream) of any grade of paper in its standard basic size will determine its basis weight. To put it simply, 500 sheets of 17 x 22 (the basic size for a writing grade paper) of 24 lb. writing paper will weigh 24 pounds. Each type of paper has a standard basic size determined from over a century of manufacturing these different type of sheets. As printing presses and machinery changes, these basic paper sizes do not.

  • Text, Book and Offset paper’s standard basic size is 25 x 38
  • Writing, Bond and Ledger paper’s standard basic size is 17 x 22
  • Cover paper’s standard basic size is 26 x 20
  • Newsprint, Tag, Tissue and Board’s standard basic size is 24 x 36

The basis weight of a paper strongly influences the strength properties and paper traits such as thickness, opacity and runnability.