An Introduction to Thermographic Printing


Offset thermography, or raised ink printing as it is also called, is a low-cost alternative to traditional engraving and embossing that creates a three-dimensional impression. Thermography is commonly regarded as a superior printing technology that increases the quality of any printed output significantly.

Surprisingly, thermography printing dates back to the early 1900s. You will grow more familiar with the subtleties of this idea as you read, making you a more certified authority on the subject. If this inspires you to purchase thermography goods, organizations such as TEAM Concept Printing can assist.

Businesses of all sizes have used their thermography services to generate letterheads and business cards. Without a doubt, anything you want from them will stand out from the crowd.

An Overview of Thermographic Printing

Have you ever heard of infrared printing? Thermography printing refers to two types of printing that produce pictures or text on paper using heat. The most fundamental thermographic printing process uses paper coated with a material that changes color when heated. Thermal printing is used in antique fax machines and cash register printers. It is also feasible to print using the thermal transfer technique. It is, however, more complicated. The ink of some ribbons may be melted into paper.

Only some documents were kept when thermographic printing was introduced. As a result, a lot of its early history requires clarification. Thermal printing, on the other hand, has been around since the early 1900s.

Thermography was a method of incorporating unique effects into the printing process. To achieve effects prior to the introduction of thermography printing, it was common practice to dust powdered copal resin on wet ink, lift the substrate to a vertical position, and shake off the extra loose powder.

Copal varnish resins are derived from the sap of a variety of tropical plants. When polished, the copal’s variety of hues, from transparent to dazzling yellowish brown, is exposed. It is used to manufacture printing ink and varnish because it dissolves in hot alcohol and organic solvents. To get the required raised printing look, the object would be placed on a heat source, such as a specialized hot plate.

Thermography took a considerable lot of experience before the first automated thermography apparatus was built in 1915. According to legend, the Virkotype Company created the first self-operating thermograph. Carlson Company began selling Virkotype hardware and software in Europe in 1920. Because of its reduced cost and broader availability, thermographic printing quickly surpassed copper or steel engraving as the dominant method of embossing ink.

Following WWII, thermography became increasingly popular. As powders and equipment improved, more printers adopted the method. Since 1900, thermographic printing has expanded considerably, becoming a common printing process capable of enhancing any item of stationery.

What Exactly is the Thermography Procedure?

Thermography is a post-printing technology that incorporates thermography equipment with regular printing procedures.

Offset printing ink is combined with powdered resin, which is then baked to cause the resin to lift up and give the ink a raised and more textured appearance. To begin, an offset printer creates the final output using slow-drying ink. Before sending the wet printed sheets, a resin-dusting tunnel applies resin to the inked spots and removes any excess. After that, the resin is heated until it melts, resulting in a larger, glassy, raised picture.

Thermography employs a wide range of powder types. Examples include fine, medium, coarse, dull, matte, and glossy powder. The granules absorb the color of the ink underneath them due to their transparency. See-through drawings may be made with transparent ink.

When is Thermography Printing Appropriate?

The service is used by the vast majority of thermographic printing clients to create business cards and other office stationery. Other examples are wedding invitations, greeting cards, report covers, and other printed promotional items. To achieve unique visual effects, thermography should be used exclusively in specific portions of the sheet.

It is also capable of printing Braille text. It is frequently used to print diplomas rather than the more costly and time-consuming engraved embossing method.

Thermographic Printing Colors

A transparent powder is often required so that the elevated zone can take on the color of the printed ink. Powders come in a variety of colors, including white, gold, silver, copper, and even glow-in-the-dark powders. This means you can be confident that thermography will meet your aesthetic needs.

There Are Several Benefits to Thermography Printing

Raised printing creates a polished, eye-catching print. Additionally, thermography is far less costly than engraving or embossing. It adds a tactile dimension to the printed material. After passing through the heat tunnel, the ink on the printed product is completely dry, allowing for rapid cutting and packing.

Making a High-Quality Thermographic Print

Keep the following things in mind while constructing a thermography printing job. It would be preferable if you also spoke with the experts at TEAM Concept Printing to go through your options and secure the best possible outcomes for your project.

  • Because they may cover the non-image zone, screens and halftones are not recommended for Thermography. Likewise, avoid both complicated and minor components. Keep your score at seven or fewer.
  • The dimensions of thermographic pictures are not restricted. Large color patches, on the other hand, might result in blisters.
  • Thermography can be performed on either coated or uncoated paper. The uncoated sheets stand out optically in comparison to the glossy thermography surface.
  • It is permissible to use coverings with basic weights ranging from 20 pounds to three times that thickness. If you want your prints to appear their best, avoid using textured materials.


Thermography is a unique printing method that produces some of the greatest outcomes of any commercial printer. While you can be familiar with some aspects, understanding what thermography can accomplish for you will assist you in deciding whether or not to have your things printed with it.

The quality of your printed materials may influence the effectiveness of your advertising and brand-building activities. When looking for someone to assist you with printing, you should look into the organization’s reputation to ensure that they can appropriately convert your thoughts into textual form. TEAM Concept Printing attempts to suit its client’s needs by providing a number of choices, including thermography. Click here to access even more information.