Print Finishing Techniques That Take Creative Projects To The Next Level

July 22 2021

Despite the wonders of our digital world, there’s still nothing quite like great print work. Whether it’s a product brochure with interesting textures, or a thick, luxurious business card, print has unequalled character. The ability to feel the paper, work it with our hands and even smell it gives it another dimension.

Great print makes all the difference for promotional materials which is why many businesses go to great lengths choosing their paper and finishing techniques. These make all the difference in making the perfect impression.

In this article, we’ll cover the print finishing techniques that take creative projects to the next level, to help give your work that extra edge.

Embossing and debossing

Gmund Colors Matt 31 - Wigston Paper & Dot Studio
Gmund Colors Matt 31 – Wigston Paper & Dot Studio

Embossing is achieved by pressing paper stock from underneath with a die to give it a 3D effect. Dies can be single-level or multi-level to create simple or intricate designs. The letters can be coloured, filled or left the same colour as the paper.

Debossing is achieved by imprinting paper stock from above to give it a 3D effect. An image is imprinted onto the paper.

Both these finishing techniques work best with heavier paper stock.

Foil blocking

Senses Brooklands Green - Wigston Paper
Senses Brooklands Green – Wigston Paper

Foil blocking applies metallic decoration to print work. Gold and silver foils are the most common foils, but any colour foil can be used. There are also holographic and colour-shifting foils, as well as security foils for specific products.

Foils can also be embossed to produce textures, logos, words, effects or anything else you desire. Embossing foil is a great way to add another dimension to work. It’s a popular finish with greetings cards and business cards.


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Thermographic printing (thermography) is a raised print technique that creates raised detailing without the need for embossing.

It works by heating a thermo-material, most often a plastic powder mixed with ink, that’s layered on the stock. The heating process binds and cures the mixture to the paper, creating a permanent raised profile and a classy finish.

This technique can be used with inks for a simple raised colour finish or with metallic powders, glitter powders and fluorescent powders. It’s a popular choice for typography and borders and edges across all corporate materials.



Senses Paper Sample Pack - Wigston Paper
Senses Paper Sample Pack – Wigston Paper

Die cutting is a technique that has been used for many years, and is ideal for cutting out shapes within a piece of artwork or taking a standard sheet of paper and turning it into a completely custom shape.

It’s most commonly used for packaging projects, but is also used to create effect on brochures and invitations where shapes are cut out to reveal parts of the next page.

The dies themselves are usually made of carbonised steel with raised sections that cut out the shapes.

Spot UV

Annie Yang Business Cards

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Spot UV involves applying liquid varnish to specific areas of artwork to create contrasting textures. For example, you could use spot UV to highlight a logo on a business card, so that this element reflects light while the rest of the card absorbs it.

Spot UV is extremely popular across all types of high-end print media, including brochures, magazines, books, business cards and reports.


over to you…


We’ve shown you what’s possible – now it’s over to you to let your imagination run wild, and turn your creative projects into a memorable work of art.  If you need any inspiration, or want to find out how Wigston’s paper range works with these print finishing technique then get in touch with us!


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