Attention! Reader discretion is advised, this post is full of graphic design and printing pornography.
In one of our latest Atellani on Site episodes we have taken you on a tour with us inside the printing factory to check out how the production of the Chic!ken book is coming along. Guess what? We just received the print proofs of the cover and they look amazing! Take a dive with us today as we plunge deep into the graphic techniques we’ve chosen to make this the best Kickstarter book one could expect.
What is the Hot Foil finish?
Have you already seen or touched invitations, business cards or other print assets that have golden, silver or other metallic details? Don’t they just look awesome? Well, they are achieved with a technique called Hot Foil. This is most often used on premium print outputs, Hot Foil is a finishing process where a metallic foil sheet is applied to the surface of the paper under a high temperature so it can seamlessly fix to the paper. It's a luxury finish and has been largely used in Europe during the 18th century, under the name of Golden Leaf, with real precious gold. Some of the ancient European manuscripts had a real gold leaf applied to the paper as a decoration for some of the calligraphic parts of text.
After so many centuries, with new technology and printing machinery, the Golden Leaf effect became easier to achieve and readily available to everyone, under the name of Hot Foil — only this time it’s not real gold, of course, but a simulation of the golden color. It can be done either using a manually-operated (you know how much we’re into the artisanal process) or an air-powered machine. This technique adds a touch of luxury and prestigiousness to the product and that was exactly what we were looking for the Chic!ken logo printed on the book’s cover. Take a look at the image below, can you see the effect of the logo we designed, (finished in hot foil of course)?
What is Paper Embossing and how is it done?
Also called Relief or Typographic Printing, Letterpress is a printing process where the printer continuously positions a raised surface (normally a metal plate called cliché) against the paper sheets. Thanks to the applied pressure, the ink is printed in the paper and many copies of an image can be produced and repeated. It is one of the oldest and most traditional printing techniques and dates back to the times of Gutenberg, a printer and typographer that invented modern printing in the 15th century.
With the creation of Letterpress, many other creative techniques that play with paper relief were invented such as Embossing and Debossing. Debossing is a processes that depresses an image into a paper (but not only into paper, other materials are also used), creating a recessed relief effect. We had this idea of adding a beautiful feather to the cover of the book and the debossing technique just seemed like the right way to make the cover even more special. In the end, we’ve chosen to go for what is called Registered Embossing which is a combination of two processes: it aligns the embossed image with another element, in our case the Hot Foil of the logo, creating a very elegant final result. We can’t wait for you to hold the book in your hands and flip through its pages!
These tests help us to be sure that the final product will be a stunning book and our backers will be happy to have taken part in this project with us. These can be small graphic details, but for us nothing passes unnoticed in this project when it comes to quality and luxury. We want to know from you: between these two printing techniques, which one is your favorite? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter!