It all started when Synchron’s Kerry Fearnhead proposed ‘doing something extra special’ with the front cover, involving intricate embossing and the use of eye-catching Kurz stamping foils. Her aim was to use this cover as a vehicle to demonstrate the scope of foiling and embossing, and to show that South African printers are capable of producing this calibre of artistry, in line with their international counterparts.
First step was to create a design with the necessary ‘wow’ factor – and who better to undertake this than Banie Stafford, PPM’s resident design guru? His cover design, enhanced by embossing and foiling, is truly striking.
Other key players are CTP Printers, as always undertaking the immaculate litho printing, and Printafoil, handling the intricate foiling and embossing stages on the cover sheets. Completing the picture, customised brass dies were imported from stamping die manufacturer Hinderer & Mühlich in Germany; and Leonhard Kurz hot stamping foil was used in conjunction with the brass dies to create the impressive print effects.
The die and the foil were supplied by Synchron Markings, local agent for Leonhard Kurz and Hinderer & Mühlich.
Brass die – the perfect choice
Hinderer & Mühlich (h+m), a Kurz subsidiary, manufactures brass dies to the highest quality standards. Here the staff are masters at combining artistic design flair with world-class technology to create stunning visual and tactile effects that absolutely compel the consumer to engage with the product. While the initial cost of brass may be higher than that of magnesium, brass is a more durable material, providing consistently high-level print quality. ‘This makes brass dies the perfect choice for long-run, repetitive jobs or indeed any job where print quality and sharpness can’t be compromised,’ Kerry maintains.
The process of ordering customised h+m dies through Synchron could not be simpler. Once artwork and chosen effects have been combined into a 3D proof, die manufacture takes five to seven days, and the finished product is couriered directly to customers in South Africa.
According to Kerry, the South African market is starting to recognise the added value that dies and special printing effects can bring to a design. ‘For example, it’s possible to use a bright/gloss metallic foil and still achieve a matt look just by way of the effects inherent in the stamping die. Likewise, you can use a standard metallic foil in conjunction with a beautifully micro-embossed die to achieve amazing faceted effects that bely the standard foil grade used,’ she remarks. ‘Last but not least, micro-embossing can be used to create a three-dimensional or even a holographic effect using a standard metallic grade of foil. Obviously the substrate and its weight have to be considered when choosing desired effects.’
Fantastic foiling effects
The foil selected for this cover is Kurz MTS 397 Copper. Using standard Kurz descriptions across the entire foil range, MTS signifies the grade of the foil and 397 Copper signifies the shade.
This MTS grade, unveiled at drupa 2012 and rolled out in South Africa last year, is an ‘all-rounder’ grade, Kerry explains, replacing the GTS Premium grade as the main Kurz formulation.
With its wide working range and technical advantages, MTS is the perfect universal product for most smooth, coated graphic applications in the areas of self-adhesive labels, sheet-fed labels, packaging, magazines, calendars, posters, paperback book covers, and so forth. As can be seen on the cover, MTS has excellent coverage for both broad and fine details, clean stamping, excellent gloss and high abrasion resistance. It even features excellent overprintability with conventional inks and lacquers.
The MTS grade is available in various metallic colours as well as the standard bright gold and silver and matt gold and silver.
Further information on Leonhard Kurz hot and cold foil products and Hinderer & Mühlich brass stamping dies is available from Synchron.
The final process
Playing the final role in this multifaceted project, Printafoil underlines its proven track record of offering the latest technology when it comes to embossing, debossing, multi-level embossing and combination stamping (foil embossing).
Printafoil is well known among brand owners for producing the ‘best dressed’ packs – thanks to expertise in the fields of hot-foil stamping, die-cut windows and gluing.
‘We’ve always focused on providing the highest quality work, together with reliable delivery,’ comments Printafoil’s Brett Sherman.
Machinery investments have been made to meet those basic goals, and the last couple of years have seen the installation of no fewer than seven new machines in the finishing departments, allowing Printafoil to keep pace with demand for these services. One of these is a Gietz foiling and embossing machine, on which this month’s cover was produced – a combination foiling and embossing process run in a single pass.
At present, Brett reveals, Printafoil is in the research stage of increasing rolling power in its printroom. As he quips: ‘To keep the finishing departments from resting on their laurels!’