Gain An Edge With Print

print graphics and design examples

Through my career I have worked on all different types of work, digital and print based. Today I find myself doing more and more websites and less print marketing pieces but I still see such a great value in putting as much into print material as you would a website, or social media. Very often a brochure or business card can still be the first impression someone has of your business, if it is done well in can pique some more interest into your company. For this reason I have always shown my clients different examples of printing techniques that are out there that can really make a design not only look great, but totally stand out from other business cards, brochures, etc. These printing techniques would include having your item printed on a different type of stock, additional finishes such as spot uv or foil stamping, as well as die cutting.
French Kraft business cardPrint pieces are a tangible object meaning some thought should go into the stock or material you will be printing on. Different papers can give your item not only a different look but a unique feel, wether it be a smooth or textured finish. Even if they are subtle these little details will make you unique from the rest of the pack. I personally have always liked the way a satin finish on a heavy stock looks on business cards. It gives them an almost plastic feel, and the heavy paper adds a little more thickness making them sturdier than any standard paper. There are many other options out there French Kraft paper has become a popular option. It’s textured rough finish used along with white ink can give a business card an interesting look. Some people can even go as far to print on completely different materials like plastic or even metal (though I haven’t yet found a client to go with the metal option). I plan on my next round of business cards being done on clear plastic, something I did for a client in the past and felt the final product looked excellent. The contrast of opaque ink and clear plastic is a total eye catcher. I always felt like this would be a great look for my brand, using the dark greens patterns I have throughout this website along with white ink. Not only the look, but as a designer I think it is a great way to market these different print styles.
spot uv coating business cardAside from the material you decide on there are some extra print processes you can use to help emphasize your card, or brochures style. The two most popular I use are spot uv coating, and foil stamping. Spot uv can be used in a couple of ways, but on a matte or satin type finish always adds a positive spin on the original print design. Spot uv is a gloss coating that can be added to whatever area you want. This means you can add it to your logo or other specific elements to totally help bring them out of the page. I have also always liked using it in different patterns and adding it as a background element, or even as the shape of a companies logo over a different print element (using the companies logo over an entire business card would be a good example).
Foil stamping is set up the same way as spot uv, but the finished look is completely different. Foil stamping adds a metallic finish as opposed to the gloss finish of spot uv, to whatever section you may want. This means you can display your logo with a metallic finish to completely help it jump off the page no matter the project. You can also use this method to display different patterns in a metallic color.
Finally, when it comes to different print marketing pieces, die cutting can give some nice effects whether it is as simple as rounding off corners or cutting the shape of a logo. There are different ways things can be die cut. First, this technique can be used to cut a shape out of the inside of a page. Die cutting will give a nice visual contrast by using the color, or pattern of the page underneath the page that is to be cut. It is also possible to cut things like business cards into a different shape other than a rectangle, wether it be your logo or a symbol relevant to your company.
Through my time as a graphic designer I have come across a number of interesting jobs with interesting companies. It is clear however, there are two types of people when it comes to the little details that help a business stand out. Some people want to find those things that will help them gain an edge, and other people just want the job done. Fortunately if someone is looking to hire me chances are they are looking for those little things that help make them look totally professional, unique, and willing to go the extra mile. I always love the reaction when a person first sees a piece using any of these techniques, whether it be an actual client, or one of my client’s customers. It has always been worth it to put in that little bit of extra work. It always goes a long way.

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