Ink and paper magic - the joys of printed materials

Ink and paper magic - the joys of printed materials

There is nothing quite like the smell and touch of a newly printed brochure!

Find out more about the intricacies of print production straight from the horses mouth, and learn exactly how much printed material can be produced from just one tree. Over to Dermot:- When you first open the pages and feel the soft lamination, fragrance of ink and the weight of the paper, you know you have received something very special. This is before you are probably even aware of the design! Ink choice and paper selection is a key element of every design project. The designers at MAXX can spend as much time choosing particular papers, inks and finishing techniques, such as die cutting, laminating, foiling and embossing, as they spend in creating the first design concepts!

Printing inks

Ink is available in millions of process colours and over 1,000 special colours called Pantones, each of which is unique with a special reference number and formulation.   Ink can be applied in various ways, including: Spot Colour - usually Pantone colours applied using separate printing plates to add colour in specific areas. Duotones - two halftone images that are printed over each other at different screen angles. Duotones are generally printed in black and another colour. 4 colour printing - usually an image, converted to groups of tiny dots printed on top of each other in four process colours, cyan (blue), magenta, yellow and black.   There are various specialist inks available to give a design project a unique look, for example: UV, fluorescent or metallic inks. The latter use metallic powders to create the look of silver, gold and a range of other colours.


The choice of paper used to be simple - do you want a gloss or matt finish? These days, the choice includes:
  - gloss
 - matt
 - silk
 - uncoated
 - recycled
 - coloured
 - textured

There are many different types of finishing including:
 - die cutting
 - drilling
 - scoring
 - folding
 - creasing
 - kiss cutting

There are also many different coatings that can be applied to give a different look and feel such as spot varnish - a high gloss UV varnish applied to selected areas of a printed image to enhance the product impact. 

Gloss lamination has a wide range of uses across the whole spectrum of printed products. The properties of gloss lamination include its strength and low cost which make it a suitable finish for the covers of company reports, brochures, catalogues and books.  

Matt or silk lamination gives a super smooth matt or silk finish and an amazingly smooth texture that offers a very high quality finish to brochures and book covers. Matt finishes look fantastic but can be prone to scuffing and should be handled with care.  Foil Blocking, embossing and die cutting are finishing techniques that can provide a high level of differentiation and sophistication. All of these can be combined to produce varying tactile effects which will enhance the printed message and provide shelf appeal for invitations, folded cards, cartons, magazine covers, brochures and many more.  

We all want to save trees - at MAXX we are working hard to reduce the amount of paper we waste, but interestingly this is what can be produced from just one standard tree:

 - 250 copies of the Sunday Times
 - Between 1 and 2 tonnes of paper (depending on grade)
 - 1,200 copies of Vogue
 - 2,700 copies of the Daily Mail
 - 4,000 one-gallon milk containers
 - 61,370 standard envelopes
 - 89,870 sheets of letterhead paper
 - 460,000 personal cheques
 - 4,384,000 postage stamps
 - 7,500,000 toothpicks
 - And finally, you might like to know that if we recycle 1 tonne of paper we will save 17 trees!

MAXX Design are experts in design and print - why not have a look at some of the brochures and print campaigns we could do for you here? We also provide in house web design, SEO, Social media training and management and more. Subscribe for more regular updates, and also why not follow us on Facebook and Twitter for information, Case studies, competitions and regular shenanigans.