Whether you are choosing a print design for your corporate business cards, a marketing catalogue or brochure, flyers for a promotional campaign or perhaps invitations to a glitzy event, you will want your printed material to stand out and have an impact. One of the best ways to achieve that is to embellish your printed items in some way – here are a few examples of embellishment print techniques and processes you should consider:

Digital foil

This is achieved by bonding metallic foil to the paper. Although the technique is similar to the traditional foil stamping process, it uses digitally printed images that adhere to the paper, as opposed to mechanical stamping dyes.

Laser cutting

This is a great option for custom projects. It is very effective if you want to personalize different objects such as plastic, wood or even glass. The process is applied through vaporising, burning or melting materials with several types of lasers, using relevant software applications to generate and highlight a path for the laser to follow. This technique makes this a highly effective tool to create intricately shaped and patterned designs.

Spot UV

This technique is about using Spot UV to apply a clear gloss coating over your design on paper or card. It is so-called because the varnish is solidified and cured with ultraviolet light, resulting in a glossy finish. It gives the effect of creating an interesting contrast between the shiny elements, which reflect light, and the uncoated elements, which remain matte. 


This is a technique used to create relief designs and images, mostly on thicker paper stock. There are different embossing types you can employ including blind emboss, registered emboss and scorching and glazing.


As the name suggests, this process is the reverse of embossing, creating lower images through stamping them into the paper. Again, thick paper stock is the ideal vehicle for this process, but it can also be applied to other materials such as cardboard or even leather.

Metallic digital printing

This is the ‘new kid on the block’ in embellishment printing. It involves the use of a production press which can produce an array of spectacular, eye-catching effects on printed material. With the use of metallic silver and gold dry inks, you can create vibrant spot colours and combine four-colour imagery with metallic inks in a single pass. Metallic digital printing is both cost effective, and less labour intensive, than some of the more ‘established’ processes mentioned.

Any of these embellishment printing tools can produce imaginative and tactile finishes that will give the impression of professionalism and quality to your printed marketing materials.

Metallic printing at Instaprint

Instaprint has completed the installation of Iridesse production press which introduces new capabilities to produce an array of special UV printing effects.

Our expanding print services now includes a high level of design flexibility using amazing colours and metallic print that can be applied to specific areas or an entire sheet. Gold and silver dry inks can be layered with CMYK colours to create vibrant effects, metallic gradients, photographic enhancements and more.

Read our metallic digital printing guide for information on the capabilities and artwork set up.