Printing Techniques

Curious about some of the printing processes available? Here’s a small guide to the most popular options and what they’re best suited for.



Process: Ink is applied to the cavities of a metal plate, the surface is wiped clean and pressure is applied to transfer the image to the paper. It gives a raised surface to the ink and accepts fine detail.
Pros: Sharpest detail; luxurious and very tactile, exact ink color matches, great for metallic and light-colored inks on dark papers
Cons: Full color photographs and large inked areas are not possible
Cost: ♦♦♦♦


letterpressProcess: Letterpress is one of the oldest forms for printing and is done by hand. After a reversed, relief plate is made, it is inked and pressed into the surface of the paper. The impression depth can vary depending on the thickness of the paper.
Pros: Luxurious, classic and very tactile; gives the simplest design a large impact; exact ink color matches
Cons: Full color photographs and large inked areas are not possible, cost increases for each color used
Cost: ♦♦♦


foilProcess: A metal plate is produced from the design where the foil is to be applied. Enough heat and pressure is applied to the plate to transfer a thin piece of foil substrate to the paper.
Pros: Ability to print light-colored, metallic and even clear colors on dark papers; completely opaque ‘ink’ coverage; endless paper options
Cons: Full color photographs are not possible, cost increases for each color used
Cost: ♦♦♦


laser-cuttingProcess: A laser is guided by the computer file of your design and is capable of cutting intricate designs.
Pros: Incredible visual appeal; costs can be kept low depending on quantity and intricacy
Cons: Cost increases with design intricacy and size, cost per piece does not decrease significantly with higher quantities
Cost: ♦–♦♦♦♦ depending on complexity

Silkscreen (Screenprint)

silkscreenProcess: A photographic emulsion process closes the mesh holes of a screen in the negative areas of the design, which allows the squeegeed ink to pass through the open mesh holes of the design and onto the paper. Our process is done by hand.
Pros: Great effect for small to medium quantities; able to print light inks on dark papers; able to print on materials other than paper (wood, metal, glass, etc.); exact color matches
Cons: Price does not decrease significantly as quantity increases, full color photographs are not possible
Cost: ♦♦–♦♦♦

Digital Offset

digital offset printing processProcess: Digital Offset uses an electrostatic charge to create printing impressions which can be changed from page to page. It’s produces offset-quality printing at a lower cost and it’s Anticipate’s go-to standard for flat printing.
Pros: Ability to print white ink; high quality; ink permeates the paper and does not have the sheen that digital toner does
Cons: Limited papers, no metallic inks

Rubber Stamp

how rubber stamps are madeProcess: Heat and pressure are applied to a form and rubber sheet to create custom stamps. The rubber is then mounted on a wood block.
Pros: Produces a one-of-a-kind impression; good for small quantities; can print on non-traditional surfaces (we’ve done feathers and rocks!)
Cons: Not ideal for formal affairs; variable quality


A variety of eco-friendly options are available to lessen our impact on the environment such as:

  • Cotton papers and envelopes
  • Recycled papers and envelopes
  • Forest Stewardship Council approved paper (FSC)
  • Soy inks
  • Recycled materials other than paper for printing surface (metal, fabric, glass, books, etc.)
  • Wood veneer (uses less wood than what is required to make paper)
  • Digital proofs (standard)
  • Repurposed boxes for shipping

Please let us know during your consultation if you prefer to use any of these options.