Typographic Layout (Print Finishings and Techniques)

So we were asked to create a typographic layout and incorporate one of the print finishing techniques which were listed on the exercise cover sheet. 

The pictures in this post will be updated soon.

We were told to research these terms first, so here’s what I found:


  • Litho -> method of printing originally based on oil and water. The printing is done from stone or metal plate with a smooth surface. Uses image drawn with oil, fat or wax onto the surface of a lithographic limestone plate.
  • Screen -> printing technique where mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate and blocking other parts using a stencil. A blade or squeegee moves across to fill the open mesh with ink and a reverse stroke causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the wet ink substrate to be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade passes.
  • Letterpress -> This is a technique of relief printing using a print press. A repeated direct impression of an inked raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper, resulting in many copies being produced.
  • Gravure -> This is an intaglio printing process, involving the engraving of an image onto an image carrier. Uses a rotary printing press and the image is engraved on a cylinder.
  • Digital -> This is the type of printing we use today, using a laser or inkjet printer. Converting a digital file into the printed product, this is the most common type of printing that is used today and many print shops have opened.


  • Case binding (hard-cover) -> most common type of hardcover bindingfor books. The pages are arranged in signatures and glued together into a “textblock.” The textblock is then attached to the cover or “case” which is made of cardboard covered with paper, cloth, vinyl or leather.
  • Perfect Binding -> also known as adhesive binding, applies an adhesive to the spine of gathered pages which, when dry, keeps them securely bound. Commonly, a soft paper or paperboard cover (or paperback) is attached over the binding adhesive. Perfect bound publications have rectangular backbones.
  • Saddle-stitch Binding -> multiple pages are bound together along the fold with 2 staples. The line created by the fold is also known as the “spine.” Used to bind multi-page booklets that are 8 pages or larger. For the saddle stitch method to work, the pages of your booklet need to be multiples of 4.  Usually a booklet can be saddle stitched up to 68 pages
  • Varnishing -> a transparent, hard, protective finish or film that is primarily used in wood finishing but also for other materials. Varnishis traditionally a combination of a drying oil, a resin, and a thinner or solvent.
  • Foil Blocking -> (or hot foil stamping) is the process of applying metallic or pigment foil to paper or card, where a heated die is stamped onto the foil. To reference the range of metallic foils available at Celloglas, please ask for our Cellofoil swatch.
  • Die-cut -> process of using a die to shear websof low-strength materials, such as rubber, fiber, foil, cloth, paper, corrugated fiberboard, paperboard, plastics, pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes, foam and sheet metal.
  • Emboss -> refers to several techniques for creating a raised pattern on a material:
    • Paper embossing, the raising of paper and other non-metal products using specific tools to accomplish the task
    • Embossed In Register (EIR)aligns embossing with an underlying image
    • Leather embossing
    • Embossing (manufacturing), commercial scale embossing of sheet metal
    • Repoussé and chasing, by hammering sheet metal by hand
    • Image embossing, the process to create highlights or shadows that will replace light/dark boundaries of an image
  • Deboss -> debossed pattern is sunken into the surface of the material (but might protrude somewhat on the reverse, back side).

So after I did this, I designed a few layouts. Sketches and finally decided that I prefer working on the computer and moved on to AI. I created vectors for the letters I handlettered and used some computer generated fonts to fill the spaces. That was all I did for this project aside from varnishing.

For varnishing, I encountered a problem. No print shops would allow me to varnish a small amount. The print shops I visited only allowed me to do so if I ordered 1000 pieces. This was way too much and there would be nothing I could do with it. So, I went out and bought a bottle of my own varnish. I painted on the varnish myself. Now a few things I discovered while doing this was that nail polish works just as well as varnish. Clear top coats act as varnish all the same and cost less.

Picture of my final product:

Front sides:


screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-11-37-21-pmScreen Shot 2016-09-30 at 11.37.22 PM.png

Back sides:

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 11.37.24 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-09-30 at 11.37.25 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-09-30 at 11.37.26 PM.png


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