A great design on an inexpensive material can sometimes create a very high end effect. The range of decorative techniques available for your project is as varied as the material itself. Please find below a list of decorative techniques and appropriate materials/constructions to assist you in your design decisions. As always, please feel free to call for one of our design specialists if you need assistance.
Silk Screen is the most commonly used decorative technique for almost all materials and price ranges. Sometimes referred to as SPOT PMS Printing, it is the most economical and broadly applicable of all techniques. Either choose a single color design or add multiple colors.
For multiple color printing, we can register to 1/32”. Full bleed and gradation art (range must be within 20% – 80%) can also be accommodated, but may entail a slight upcharge.
When submitting art, please be sure to color separate and label the layers with PMS ink colors. Also be aware that silk screening is most effective when laying a dark color on a lighter medium. As we are printing on a colored medium, some colors are compromised slightly when not printing on white. In these cases, on receipt of order, TRS will suggest that we run a free ink swatch on your material so that you can see how the color will look prior to full production.
Debossing is the process where an indentation is made in the material to create a textured effect. In this process a metal die is created for each area to be debossed (front, spine and/or back). This is sometimes erroneously referred to as embossing.
This process can be used alone ( called a blind deboss) or in combination with foil stamping or silk screening. Again, using a font below 12 points is not recommended. If you choose, we can deboss an area to allow another decorative technique such as silk screening or tipping in a printed sheet.
Suggested materials for debossing are Castillian Vinyl (a thicker vinyl material), leather like materials, linen or cloth binders and natural chip board. Debossing is also commonly used on presentation folders and report covers.
Foil Stamping is the process of hot stamping foil onto your chosen material. In this process, a metal die is created for each location of your art (front, spine, and/or back covers). Choose from a wide array of foil colors or give us a PMS number and we will find the closest match possible. Most commonly, clients utilize foil stamping to achieve a metallic effect in gold, silver, pewter or bronze colors.
Stamping can be used alone or in combination with silk screening or debossing. We suggest that minimum font size for non-serif fonts be 12 point to ensure that letters do not fill. Stamping is a high end, sophisticated technique, but may not be appropriate for designs with tremendous fine line detail. Please submit art and we can pre-flight to ensure that the design is optimized.
Full Color Printing
Full Color Printing allows us to deliver magazine quality printing at the lowest prices seen in the looseleaf industry in decades. If a picture paints a thousand words, then your project will be speaking to your target market the moment it hits the desk. TRS carries a wide variety of full color options that help meet almost any budget.
This decorative technique is sometimes called 4 color process or process printing. It is most economically efficient at the 1,000 unit quantity and above, but is available at all quantities.
- Clear Overlay Binder with Printed Inserts is the least expensive way to achieve a full color effect. While this is a very basic application in which you insert your printed sheets into clear pockets open at the top of the binder. TRS can help upgrade the appearance by providing exact sizes that allow you to fill the open space and providing a choice of colors from our PFC Vinyl Line Card.
- Entrapment or Encapsulated Binders are the most durable of the full color print options. In this process we take your printed sheets ( or print them from your art) and encapsulate (sealing the sheets in on all sides) them under clear vinyl on one or all sides. Material selections for this process are made from the PVC Vinyl Line card.
- Film Laminated Wrap is a turned edge application that allows full, continuous art. The art for the full binder is printed on paper and then a lamination is applied. The laminated sheet is wrapped around the binder. Either a paper liner is applied or TRS can print the inside liner. Liner can be offset print as well
- Full Color on Vinyl is the process that allows full coverage art to be printed on white UV vinyl. Any color liner can be chosen from the PFC Vinyl Line Card. Art for this application is designed as if being printed on white paper.
- Offset print on presentation folders, index tabs, key cards, poly keys, or report covers is also available. In most cases templates are available, but we can also create custom design templates in house.
Other Decorative Techniques include applying a linen spine wrap to either cloth or other turned edge binders, applying perimeter stitching to binders, metal edges for corners, and heat sealed embossing for vinyl. In many cases, we can combine decorative techniques.