An Overview of Thermographic Printing

Offset thermography, often known as raised ink printing, is a low-cost alternative to traditional engraving and embossing that produces the same three-dimensional impression. Thermography is widely considered a superior printing method that significantly improves the quality of any printed product.

Surprisingly, thermography printing has been around since the early 1900s. As you read, you will become more acquainted with the complexities of this concept, making you a more qualified expert on the subject. If it makes you want to buy thermography products, companies like TEAM Concept Printing can help.

Letterheads and business cards have been created using their thermography services by businesses of all sizes. Whatever you desire from them will, without a certain, stand out from the crowd.

An Introduction to Thermographic Printing

Have you ever come across infrared printing? The term thermography printing refers to two forms of printing that use heat to generate images or text on paper. The most basic thermographic printing method uses paper that has been coated with a substance that changes color when heated. Antique fax machines and cash register printers use thermal printing. Printing with the thermal transfer technique is also possible. However, it is more complex. A certain ribbon’s ink may be melted into paper.

When thermographic printing was invented, few documents were saved. As a result, much of its early history needs to be clarified. Thermal printing, on the other hand, dates back to the early 1900s.

Thermography was a technique for introducing distinctive effects into the printing process. Prior to the introduction of thermography printing, it was standard practice to dust powdered copal resin on wet ink, raise the substrate to a vertical position, and shake off the excess powder to generate effects.

Copal varnish resins are made from the sap of several tropical plants. The copal’s range of colors, from translucent to brilliant yellowish brown, is revealed when polished. Because it dissolves in hot alcohol and organic solvents, it is used to make printing ink and varnish. The object would be put on a heat source, such as a specialized hot plate, to get the desired raised printing appearance.

Until the first automated thermography device was constructed in 1915, thermography required a great deal of experience. Legend has it that the Virkotype Company invented the first self-operating thermograph. In 1920, Carlson Company began distributing Virkotype hardware and software in Europe. Because of its lower cost and wider availability, thermographic printing swiftly superseded copper or steel engraving as the primary way of adding embossing effects to ink.

Thermography became extremely popular after WWII. More printers embraced the process as powders and equipment improved. Thermographic printing has grown dramatically since 1900, becoming a standard printing technology capable of upgrading any piece of stationery.

What is the Thermography Process?

Thermography is a post-printing technique that uses thermography equipment in addition to traditional printing methods.

In a method known as thermography, offset printing ink is blended with powdered resin, which is then baked to cause the resin to rise and give the ink a raised, textured look. To begin, an offset printer uses slow-drying ink to make the final product. A resin-dusting tunnel applies resin to the inked areas and eliminates any surplus before transmitting the wet printed sheets. The resin is then heated until it melts, resulting in a bigger, glassy, elevated image.

Wide different varieties of powder are used in thermography, including fine, medium, coarse, dull, matte, and glossy powder. Because of their transparency, the granules absorb the color of the ink underneath them. Transparent ink can be used to create see-through drawings.

When Should Thermography Printing Be Used?

The great majority of thermographic printing clients use the service to manufacture business cards and other office stationery. Wedding invitations, greeting cards, report covers, and other printed promotional materials are further examples of their application. To create distinct visual effects, thermography should only be employed in certain sections of the sheet.

It also has the ability to print Braille text. It is often used to print diplomas instead of the more expensive and time-consuming engraved embossing process.

Colors For Thermographic Printing

Typically, a translucent powder is required so that the raised zone may take on the color of the printed ink. Powders are available in a wide range of hues, including white, gold, silver, copper, and even glow-in-the-dark powders. You may be certain that thermography can handle whatever aesthetic requirements you have.

Thermography Printing Has Several Advantages

Raised printing produces a professional, eye-catching print. Furthermore, thermography is far less expensive than engraving or embossing. It gives the printed material a haptic dimension. The ink on the printed product is totally dry after passing through the heat tunnel, allowing for quick cutting and packaging.

How to Create a High-Quality Thermographic Print

When creating a thermography printing project, keep the following tips in mind. It would be best if you also spoke with the professionals at TEAM Concept Printing to go through your options and ensure the finest potential results for your project.

  • Screens and halftones are not advised for Thermography because they may cover the non-image zone. Similarly, avoid both complex and minute components. Maintain a score of seven or less.
  • The sizes of thermographic images are not limited. Large color patches, on the other hand, have the potential to cause blisters.
  • Thermography can be done on coated or uncoated paper. In contrast to the glossy thermography surface, the uncoated sheets stand out optically.
  • Coverings with basic weights ranging from 20 pounds to three times that thickness are permitted. Avoid using textured materials if you want your prints to look their best.


Thermography is a one-of-a-kind printing technique that yields some of the best results of any commercial printer. While you do not need to know every detail, knowing what thermography can do for you will help you decide whether or not to have your items printed with it.

The quality of your printed materials may impact the efficacy of your advertising and brand-building efforts. When looking for someone to help you with printing, you should investigate the company’s reputation to guarantee that they can correctly translate your ideas into textual form. TEAM Concept Printing tries to meet the demands of its clients by offering a variety of options, including thermography. More information may be found once you click here.

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