Printing Options

There are many different types of printing which we can use to give your packaging the look you require. Below I will try and briefly describe what those processes are and what they are best suited to, if you would like to read more about the choices on offer and see more examples please visit our blog here.

Foil Blocked Printing

Foil blocking is perhaps the most popular choice for our customers as it can give a high class look but the costs are actually quite low. We can provide most foil blocking ourselves using our recently refurbished foil blocking machine so this keeps costs and waiting times down. Foil blocking is quite a simple process where foil is pressed onto the surface of the paper using a combination of heat and pressure. We have a few standard colours, gloss white and black, silver, gold and satin gold, although we can order special colours upon request. The foil is applied to the paper before it is wrapped around the box, so although there is some depth to the impression it is normally only quite subtle.

Environment: Whilst the foil isn't technically recyclable, it is so thin that it will not make any difference to the recyclability of the box. The foil is carried on a very thin PET plastic which we do not currently recycle but are looking into it! We always try to run the foil at an appropriate width and pull through length to reduce wastage to a minimum. Tooling from foil blocking is made from magnesium or brass and is normally kept in case it is used again. Eventually we will send old dies for recycling.

Copper foil logo onto textured Wibalin Buckram paper Two colour foil, metallic red and satin gold Gold foil blocking onto heavily textured paper
Gloss black foiled logo applied to the paper before the box is covered Gold foil logo onto GF Smith Colorplan Gloss white foil doesn't let any of the paper colour through


Debossing is the process where we can put quite a heavily pressed logo on top on our boxes. We use the same machine that we use for foil blocking but rather than putting the logo onto the paper before it is wrapped, we cover the box and the logo is put on as the final process. This means that the logo is debossed onto a material which is normally between 1 and 2mm thick. The box is placed onto a strong wooden block and our machine presses the logo approximately 1mm into the surface of the box using around 2 tonnes of pressure. We can do this with or without foil, if it is without foil we refer to this as a blind debossing. For more information on debossing, please see our blog post.

Environment: Most of what is applicable to foil debossing is mentioned in the above foil blocking section.

Gloss white foil debossed area on top of a lid, finer detail means we have to apply less pressure for it to remain legible Gloss black foil deboss is pressed onto the lid after it has been covered so we can get extra depth to your logo Blind debossed logo on Skivertex leatherette catches the light

Litho Printed

This is possibly the most widely used type of print with it’s common applications being books, food packaging, glossy magazines and leaflets. There is full flexibility of colours and designs including matching Pantone references and special colour inks. Litho print offers the highest accuracy and quality of printing but is suited to print runs of at least 1000 due to set up costs involved. These sheets can be sealed with a varnish, UV coating or lamination to give a glossy or matt finish.

Litho printed paper hand wrapped over a tray & lid Litho printed with a matt laminate finish Printed black and red with gloss laminate and silver foil blocking

Digitally Printed

Printed on a high end large format printer similar to your desktop printer but with a higher quality finish, digital printing is catching up with Litho printing on quality with most people unable to see much of a difference between the two! One thing it can struggle slightly with is large area’s of solid block colour, but again this is improving. Due to lower setup costs digital printing is generally suitable for small runs from between 50 and 500.

Litho printed paper wrappped over a tray & lid A simple digitally printed logo Gloss laminate onto digitally printed sheets helps to protect them

Screen Printing

This is used for printing single block colours onto almost any material, we normally use it to print onto coloured paper as the colour of the ink is not affected by the material it is being printed onto. Each screen prints one colour at a time and these can be layered to produce multi coloured prints but gradient tints cannot be achieved. Generally screen printing is better on low quantity runs of between 50 and 500. I have written more about screen printing on our blog.

3 colour screen print - black, white and clear gloss onto grey paper Screen printed 1 colour onto green paper White screen printing onto a wire stitched box