When you don’t have much experience with printing, you might not realize how complicated the process actually is. It’s not just an afterthought that only comes up after you’ve created a beautiful design. The way a design will be printed is something you should take into account before you create it in the first place; otherwise, you’re missing out on some aesthetic choices that you might not even realize you have access to.
You’ll be able to make much better design decisions when you understand how popular imprint methods work, plus the advantages and disadvantages of each one. If you want to give yourself an even bigger, competitive edge, you can work with a professional designer. Just be sure they can produce great work, like Company Folders. You can see examples of their work and learn more about the design services on their site.
To help you start learning the proper printing vocabulary, it’s a great idea to read through this list of the four basic imprint methods you’ll need to get acquainted with:
Four-color process allows a great deal of freedom but has limited consistency. It’s the best choice for color photography.
Spot color gives you limited color options, but it’s a perfect match when you need specific brand colors.
Foil stamping can easily be applied to darker stocks and allows for highly reflective metallic options.
Embossing and debossing creates an indentation directly in the paper stock. It can be used in combination with other imprint methods or “blind embossed” for a more subtle, understated look.
Learn more about these imprint methods (and see some cool examples) in this great illustrated resource.