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Guide to top printing techniques

Guide to top printing techniques

Top printing techniques #1: Die cutting

Die-cutting is a great way to make your printed materials stand-out from the crowd. This technique involves using a metal die to cut irregular shapes into your printed materials. Die-cuts can be used to punch interesting shapes into your print, or to form an interesting outline around your entire item.

We can create a die in any shape you wish, meaning the only limit is your imagination!

Top printing techniques #2: Embossing and debossing

Embossing and debossing can be really effective techniques to make your printed materials come to life in three dimensions. The technique essentially involves a metal plate being pressed into the paper or card and leaving an impression. Embossing leaves a raised impression on the stock, and debossing leaves an indentation. This effect can greatly enhance the tactile nature of the printed materials.

Top printing techniques #3: Foils

Foils can add a tremendous touch of luxury to your print. This technique involves applying a foil layer, often in metallic gold or silver, to printed materials through a heating process. A huge range of coloured foils, holographic foils and security foils are available. Looking beyond traditional gold and silver, we are able to use metallic foils in blue, pink, and dozens of colours in between! This is a great way to add a bit of bling; it’s a touch of quality that speaks volumes about the company being represented.

Top printing techniques #4: Metallic Inks

Similar in some ways to foils, metallic inks can be a highly effective way of adding detail and interest to a design piece. Metallic inks are available in a range of colours, and add a reflective sheen that can be used to highlight all or part of a design.

Top printing techniques #5: Spot UV Varnish

 Varnishing printed materials involves a liquid coating being applied to a printed surface, leaving a high gloss, sheen look. There are a range of varnish finishes available, but the most popular effect is Spot UV. Spot UV is a liquid varnish that is applied to a specific area and dried by ultraviolet light. This highly effective technique draws the eye to the design element being varnished and adds great visual impact.

Top printing techniques #6: Binding

 At Ashley House we believe that print is so much more than just ink on paper; it’s about the emotional impact of a beautiful, tactile object that moves people to action. We can employ a wide range of bindings to create stunning books and brochures. Binding options include wire binding of various types, stitching, and, of course, glue-based binding. Whichever technique you opt for, the results can be fantastic.

Top printing techniques #7: Printing on unusual stocks/materials

 While the vast majority of the print we produce is on standard white paper stocks, we are also able to produce highly original and distinctive items by printing on other materials. For example, in our large format department, we can print onto a vast range of items from plastics to fabrics and vinyl. As well as interesting design schemes for public places and exhibition stands, the large format team can produce stunning bespoke wallpapers and table cloths. 

 We can also print on a wide range of substrates and natural materials, such as straw, bank notes, grass, denim… and even paper made from elephant and rhino poo! Explore paper options at at and

Top printing techniques #8: White ink

White ink is a really exciting new technique, made possible by our state-of-the-art digital printing press. Essentially, rather than applying dark ink to light paper, white ink is applied to dark paper stocks. This simple reversal of the norm is a great way to get attention, and can lead to some fascinating design ideas involving layer masks and transparency effects. The white ink can also form a background for other colours to be overprinted, producing novel and interesting effects.

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Client Testimonials

Exceeding our expectations

"We choose a printing company based on quality, attention to detail, service and great value. The team at Ashley House exceed our expectations every time."

Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa

Innovative and reliable

"Having moved our printing and design requirements to Ashley House about three years’ ago my only regret is that we did not do it sooner. Innovative and reliable with a fantastic customer service ethic."

Heavitree Brewery

10 out of 10

"We have been working with Ashley House for a while now and no matter what we throw at them, the result is nothing short of remarkable."

Monkey's Paw Consultancy

A real passion for each job

"Ashley House have provided an excellent service .. Their attention to detail demonstrates a real passion for each job and has meant that they now feel like an extended part of our marketing team."

Bike Shed Theatre

Great service

"We receive great service from the team at Ashley House. They offer advice and guidance on any project; they're professional, friendly and always competitively priced. "

Blue Chip Holidays

Can't recommend highly enough

"We have worked with Ashley House for many years, we always return to this printing house as their attention to detail is second to none."

Hoopers Department Stores

Delivering high quality print

"Jeff and the team at Ashley House always go out of their way to meet our challenging deadlines, delivering high quality print coupled with great service. It makes a big difference feeling assured your printing will be with you for when it’s needed. Many thanks!"

The Met Office

Printers of choice

"We can’t recommend Ashley House too highly - they have been our printers of choice for many years now. We love the fact that they take a huge pride in the quality of their print."

Theatre Alibi

A printer you can rely on

"Helpful Holidays have worked with Ashley House for many, many years. They produce excellent quality print combined with great service at a competitive price. They’re a printer you can rely on and we continue to do so. They’re also a pleasure to work with. Highly recommended."

Helpful Holidays

Passion for quality print

"The continued success of Ashley House is down to many things; passion for quality print, excellent customer service and advice, attention to detail, but over and above is their ability to work as a team to deliver for their clients. For these reasons they are a valued supplier."

University of Exeter