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specialist finishes

For the perfect finishing touches, Alpha offers a wide range of specialist processes. From die-cutting and foiling, to embossing and varnishing, all our finishing services are carried out in-house to meet our strict quality standards.

Flittering
Foiling
Fluted foiling
Embossing
De-bossing
Tipping In
UV varnish

Die-cutting
Square back books
Loop stapling
Cello Bagging
Flow wrapping
Bulk and individual packing

 

A glossary of the processes that add sparkle and texture

Acetate: A clear or frosted vinyl sheet that can be used to cover the top of card fronts. The acetate may include design and/or editorial.
Aperture: A die cut ‘hole’ or ‘window’ in the cards.
Blind embossing die: An engraved plate, normally made from a soft metal such as magnesium, that can be behind or machine cut and used to raise the image on the cards.
Caption: A sending situation within a product line eg mother’s day, birthday, anniversary, etc.
Christmas: This winter celebration also refers to name of flake, colour 731, occasionally used in thermographic finishing.
Counter force: Male version of an embossing die. It is made by contact moulding and is used to force the image of the material of the card.
Crystalina: Trade term used by the Faust Corporation of America in relation to flake products used in thermography. Multi-coloured, iridescent Crystalina is the full title for what is often referred to as flitter.
De-bossing: Sinking an image on a card.
Die-cutting: Cutting unique shapes into a greeting card. The die is the term for a metal card cutter.
Disco: A term interchangeable with ‘flitter’. Equally imprecise.
Embossing: A metal die is used to create a raised impression on a blank piece of paper or a picture.
Fine detail embossing: The die is hand-engraved to various depths and curvatures.
Flitter: A production process that involves the cards being affixed with glitter to produce a sparkling effect. Imprecise term usually used in relation to glitter – like the flake-based finishes created using thermography. Often refers specifically to the multi-coloured, iridescent flakes widely used in the greeting card industry.
Foiling/hot foiling: Hot foil is stamped onto a card to create a shiny effect. The die is heated in the press and the foil is stamped into the card. Can be used for wording or highlighting part of the cards design.
Glitter: Imprecise term. Can refer to shiny flakes of any colour. Most commonly used to create iridescent sparkly finishes using thermography.
Glue spots: Can be used for attaching ribbons, sequins, and other small ornamentations or for closing cellobags. Chose either: Vertical hold, 3-D high density, double-sided foam pads – for attaching ornamentation. Circular disks – for sealing cellobags.
Holographic foiling: Foil featuring a holographic pattern or image.
Pearlescent: Finish with a ‘pearl like’ appearance. Can be created using thermography. Can also have a slightly metallic appearance. Available in many colours.
Puff: Soft, puff-like finish (very textured) created using thermography.
Thermography: Raised finish which looks similar to embossing. It is used for a variety of effects including neutral pearlescent and flake finishes. Available in many colours.
UV Varnishing: Very shiny finish to the cards. Can be used on the whole card or as a ‘spot’ to highlight a particular area.
Virko: From the Virkotype Corporation, manufacturers of thermographic equipment. It is the name given to the texture and colour attached to greeting cards by thermography. Once in the press, a special powdered compound is dusted onto the paper and fused by ink to the fresh ink. Raised lettering or designs are made with this process.

for more information please contact tellmemore@alphacolour.com

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