ever wonder how we do what we do?



We are happy to share with you our passion for unique printing, gorgeous design and artisan effects.  If you ever get a chance to get to our studio, you can also watch our artisans in action!


letterpress

Letterpress printing is a printing technique which has been used since the 15th Century. Letterpress printing involves locking movable type into the bed of a press, inking it, and rolling or pressing paper against it to form an impression.

Items printed on a letterpress can be readily identified by the impressions of the letters, which punch into the paper surface.  The ink coverage will not be as opaque and uniform as flat or digital printing, but the variations in tone adds to the character of the process. It works most effectively with thick, soft paper so that you can see the impression.


Letterpress printing requires more time, resulting in higher cost, and each color requires a separate pass.  Letterpress also requires a die, metal or photopolymer, to create the impression and that can add $50 - $100 per item.  Letterpress is more cost-effective at quantities of 100 or more pieces.


laser cut

Laser cut  is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high power laser, by computer, at the material to be cut. The material then either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas.

Laser cutting can be identified by the intricacy of the cutting and the slight scorched edges.

Although cut by a machine, laser cutting is a very manual process.  Each piece of paper must be individually inserted into the laser machine bed – after the laser passes, it is removed and the bed then needs to be cleaned in preparation for the next piece of paper.  The cost of laser cutting does not benefit from larger quantities, as other print processes, so this can be an excellent choice for smaller quantities.

raised printing

Raised printing is the common name for thermography.  A special powder is added to freshly printed ink and put through a heat tunnel to “bake” the special powder.  This creates the raised effect on the paper.

Thermography can be identified by the raised, shiny effect producing a distinguished look that projects depth and touchability.

Since it is applied over regular printing, you can use any ink color, on most papers that can withstand the heated process. Thermogaphy requires set-up of the each ink color, powder and films, so the cost “per piece” is greater at smaller quantities.  You will realize better “per piece” cost at quantities over 100.

flat printing

Flat printing is also known as offset printing. Flat printing requires films for each color.  As the ink passes over the metal or paper plate, the ink adheres to the image.  It is then transferred to paper.

Flat printing does not have the raised ink texture or an impression into the paper. Flat printed images have a sharp edge that is clear and concise. The ink penetrates into the paper slightly.

It's less expensive than engraving or thermography, and creates a less formal look. There are set-up costs, so it is more expensive at lower quantities.

digital printing

Digital printing describes the process of transferring information from a personal computer to paper by means of digital printer or press.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between digital printing and traditional printing.  But upon close inspection, you will notice that the ink usually has a slight sheen, and does not permeate the paper surface.

A benefit of digital printing is that you can have unlimited colors without the costs of extra films, plates or extra passes through the press.

Digital printing is a great solution for small quantities.  However, many specialty papers cannot be used on a digital press, therefore you must be careful which you select.



KatBlu uses a laser ink based digital press, which means that it will not bleed or smear should it get wet. Especially important for party accessories. 

foil stamping

Heated metal dies are pressed onto foil material, transferring the foil material to the paper. The effect is bold, opaque color. It can be shiny metallic or solid matte color. 

edge painting

For centuries, book makers gilded the edges of pages with gold.  As a modern, hand-crafted application we can paint the edge of your invites with any color that you can imagine.  It will create a colorful, matte effect even if we use a metallic ink.

antiquing

For a vintage hand-crafted look, consider antiquing.   We hand-distress and ink the edges to create the effect of paper’s natural aging process.

distressed foil stamp

As artists, we continually push the edges of our equipment.  We have created an exclusive technique of distressed foil stamping.  Each piece is individually stamped to create one-of-a-kind shiny effect.

corner rounding

Sometimes a simple detail creates to most drama!  Case in point: corner rounding!  We offer ½” or ¼” corner rounding.

die-cutting

Die-cutting is created by bending a razor-sharp metal into the desired shape and pressing it into the paper.  It is the way to generate a unique shape item.  As it requires a die, you again need to consider the set-up costs.  Die-cutting is most cost-effective over 100 quantity.



for some smaller quantities, we can create the die-cut effect with our laser cutter.

pocket-folds

KatBlu has innovated the traditional pocket-fold!  We can custom make any size, shape or design that you can imagine.  We have standard pocket-fold sizes that can be customized, or send us your idea and we will make it happen.

envelope liners

Standard envelopes come in a limited paper thickness.  Sometimes you desire a more opaque envelope, especially when the paper used for the invitation is dark and may show through the lighter colored envelope.  A liner is the perfect way to add opacity to the envelope and also a bit of design too.  We custom print and insert your liners.  You might want to add a small monogram or party theme on the liner as a unique expression.

addressing envelopes

Calligraphy is the traditional benchmark of premium stationery.  It also comes with a premium price.  We can create your addresses to look like calligraphy for less.  We design and digitally imprint them onto your envelopes.  We use laser toner-based digital printers so you do not need to worry about them bleeding should the envelopes get wet – a common downside of inks and inkjet printing.