Merry Christmas From Texas
A Case Study
The concept for this year’s Christmas card began as a “Christmas In Texas” idea. We found inspiration in intricately engraved belt buckles and spurs, metal campfire mugs, feed sacks, weathered wood, cotton bales and an original pencil drawing of “Cowboy Santa” by local artist, Barry Pittman.
The following outlines detailed printing specifications and printing process for each piece.
Size + Fold: 8.5″x11″ with Vertical Gatefold
Paper: Neenah, Raw, Concrete, 18pt
Outside: PMS 877C (Metalic Silver Ink)
Inside: 4-color + PMS877C (Metallic Silver Ink)
Foils: Silver Foil, Gold Foil
Emboss: Multilevel Emboss + Deboss
Metallic Silver Ink
Printing with PMS 877C
Both sides of the card use a spot color in addition to the four-color process; PMS 877C (Metallic Silver). All inked areas of the card were printed first, then the foils would be added, and embossing and debossing would be applied.
What we learned:
Since the foiling process involves using heat, our embosser suggested sealing the card after the inks were printed. This precautionary measure would ensure the Metallic ink would not re-heat and smear during the foiling and embossing process.
*Sealing the printed cards did not affect the overall look of the uncoated paper or ink.
Foils, Embossing, Debossing
(All of the Gold foil details, and some of the Silver) All of the foils were applied to the card at the same time (silver and gold ran separately.) In the next steps the card would be ran back through the press to achieve the embossed and debossed areas. Due to foil being applied with pressure, the areas that were not embossed still have a slight deboss.
Foil + Emboss
(Christmas) After all of the foil had been applied, the card went through another round for Embossing. Pressure was applied to the back of the card to lift these embossed and bevelled areas up higher.
Foil + Emboss + Deboss
(TEXAS) This area was Embossed at the same time as the word “Christmas”. To achieve the multi-level Deboss, the card was sent through once more. This time, pressure was applied to the front, pressing in the small details on the word “TEXAS.”
Bronze Foil Fail
Before we even knew what we wanted the Christmas card to look like, we knew two things for sure: We wanted the design to use bronze foil, on Neenah – Raw – Concrete stock. Gold was never a part of the plan. Bronze foil was ordered, Silver foil was ordered, and both were ready to go on foil day. However, it was not long until we discovered the bronze foil absolutely would not stick. Thankfully our embosser had just enough of a warm Gold foil in stock to finish the job.
*Pictured below is our perfect bronze foil not sticking to our cards.
What we learned:
There are some surprise problems that just can’t be avoided or planned for. In no way could we, or the embosser, have predicted the bronze foil would not stick. There were too many variables: the paper stock, the sealing, the color of the foil and whatever methods were used to create that color. Any of these, or something else, could have been to blame.
Since this kind of problem can’t be avoided completely, it can be dealt with more easily by allowing more than enough time for testing and reordering before your absolute shipping date.
Close-Up of Die
Paper: Neenah, Astroking, 89# Moss Green, C2S Cover
Ink: Spot Varnish