Printing Processes: Engraving

For our final week of printing processes we will dive into the beautiful world of engraving! Engraving is similar to letterpress but creates raised graphics rather than impressed images.

Above: Oh So Beautiful Paper


First a metal plate is etched with a recessed image. Then it is aligned on the press and inked. Blotter paper is then used to wipe off excess ink until only the etched portions remain. Next, paper is hand fed through the press, which applies two tons of pressure to each piece. Last but not least, the paper passes through a heated conveyer belt to dry.

Above Left: Burnett’s Boards – Above Right: Style Me Pretty


-Best option for printing white ink on colored paper because the ink sits on top of the paper creating a bright white.

-Exceptional clarity, color quality, and a complete showstopper.

-Great for thin and fine typefaces since it can pick up on details better than most processes.

Above Left: Etsy – Above Right: Pinterest


-Longer turn-around than most printing processes since most engravers honor traditional practices that can delay an order.

-Not recommended for two-sided printing because the process causes “bruising” on the backside of each piece, which would create a muddled design if printed on.

-More expensive than most processes and so it is general reserved for formal occasions.

Happy printing!