The term thermographic or thermography printing is a bit of a misnomer to the non-printer as it’s actually a way of producing raised printing. Rather than describing the end result, it describes the method for getting the raised print onto the page which involves the application of heat, hence the name.
The process hasn’t changed much since its invention. In essence, it involves taking the printed piece and, while the ink is wet, dusting the ink with a material which will stick to the ink. The dust is then heated to turn molten and, when dried, forms a raised area where the wet ink was.
Today, the printed sheets with areas of wet ink are passed under a polymer powder hopper which drops the powder onto the sheet. This adheres to the areas of wet ink and not the dry. Next, the sheet is vacuumed to remove excess powder, then passes into a heat or UV oven. Here, the powder melts, forming a raised area on the wet ink and curing into a dry raised surface.
Thermography printing can be used on double-sided items and can also be printed multicolour. It’s used extensively on business stationery but can have other creative applications where a raised surface adds to the tactility and impact of the print.
To discuss how thermography printing might help your next print project, why not contact the friendly folks at Webmart?