Thermography Raised Print Examples

Graphic Ideals in Phoenix, Arizona is proud to offer a vast array of printing services & products. Thermography, Thermographic Printing or Raised Ink Printing Service is just one of the many types of printing services offered here at Graphic Ideals, your local full-service printing company in Phoenix.

This week on the Graphic Ideals Print Blog, we’re sharing a bit of educational information about Thermography Printing Processes as well as some helpful Thermographic printing tips from the graphic design and print production experts at Graphic Ideals, such as:

  • Answering the Question: What Is Thermography?
  • Overview of Popular Print Materials that Use Thermography
  • The Thermographic Printing Process in Five Steps
  • Differences Between Raised-Print Thermography and Print Engraving

What is Thermography?
Thermographic Printing Is an Economical Way to Get Raised Type You Can Feel

Thermography, as a printing process, has become more popular in the last few years as a cost-effective, tactile printing option in contrast to the more expensive Letterpress printing or Engraving printing techniques. The cost-saving measures of the thermographic printing technique help keep printing costs low for those who want to achieve a more tactile effect with their print projects as they follow the recent printing trend around raised type. While thermographic printing jobs can run a little pricier than your standard flat offset or digital printing job, thermography still remains a very popular choice amongst print clients and printers alike.

Thermography is a premium post-printing process that adds a simple dimensional quality, a slight 3-D perspective, also known as raised printing. This raised layer of ink on your thermographically printed invitations or marketing materials creates raised type that you can literally run your fingers over and feel.

Thermography was created as a more cost-effective way to get a similar look and feel of the more expensive engraved printing techniques. During the thermographic printing process, thermography machines are used in conjunction with any conventional wet-ink printing press.

You can produce a very professional, luxury, or even an ultra high-class print design look and feel by using thermography in addition to the creative use of ink colors, other print finishes or multiple paper stock weights to create your own high-quality, custom thermographic printing projects.

People Prefer Raised-Print

Many customers enjoy the tactile nature of thermographic printing, saying they prefer raised-print to flat offset or digital printing.

Textured feeling of Thermograpic Printing

Thermography Gives Your Raised Printing a Textured Feeling

Faster to Print With Less Expense

Thermography is faster to prepare for printing and provides a different look than its more expensive counterpart, engraved printing.

Close-up comparison images of Thermography vs Engraving Printing Qualities & Textured Printing Techniques

Close-up comparison images of Thermography vs Engraving Printing Qualities & Textured Printing Techniques

Luxury and High-End Printing

Thermographic printing is great for giving your printed design project a luxury or high-end look AND feel–without the full cost of engraving.

Close-up photograph of Wedding Invitation with Thermography printing, or raised printing

Close-up photograph of Wedding Invitation with Thermography printing, or raised printing.

Long a favorite of the greeting card industry, thermography is popular for printing:

  • Extra Special Save-the-Dates or Special Event Announcements like:
    • Printed Engagement Announcements
    • Wedding Save-the-Dates
    • Printed We’re Expecting Announcements
  • Up-Scale or Five-Star Restaurant Menus
  • Luxury Real Estate Business Cards and Printed Marketing Materials
  • Holiday Cards
  • Unique Business Cards
  • Stationery, Letterhead or Envelopes
  • High-End Trade Show Materials
  • High-End, Thicker-Stock Flyers
  • Greeting Cards
  • Event Invitations:
    • Non-Profit Foundation Fundraiser Gala Invites
    • Wedding Invitations
    • Baby Shower, Baptism Invitations, Quinceanera Invitations
  • Organic or Boutique Product Packaging or Marketing Materials
  • Luxury Auto Sales Business Cards and Printed Marketing Materials
  • Gift Wrap
  • Memo Pads
  • Brochures
  • Custom Printed Folders
  • Thank You Cards
  • and Many, Many Other Raised-Print Projects.
Thermography printing creates raised text for Braille or type for the blind
Did You Know?

Thermographic Printing has even been used for mass-printing of Braille books for the blind, thanks to the tactile nature and plate-less printing methods of this raised-printing technique.

Raised-Print Thermographic Printing Process:

  1. Thermo_Sample_TilesInvolves the use of non-drying ink on paper.

  2. Then polymerized powder, actually made up of little bits of plastic, is applied to the non-drying ink, to which the polymerized powder sticks.

  3. After removal of the excess polymer dust, the paper, ink and powder bake in a very hot oven.

  4. The powder melts onto the ink, producing a raised area where the wet ink was originally printed.

  5. Now you don’t have just a high-quality print project you can read, you have a tactile printed design that you can feel!

Thermography vs. Engraving


Close-up of a printed example of normal texture of raised-print created by a Thermographic Printing Process

Close-up of textured raised-print created by the Thermographic Printing Process
image provided by


Close-up of raised-print text from an Engraved Printing Process

Close-up of raised-print created by an Engraved Printing Process
image provided by

Less Expensive Than Engraving,
Since There’s Less Labor and No Requirement to Create a Custom Printing Plate
 More Expensive than Thermography, but Classic Engraving Has a Fuller, Finer and More Complete Raised Printing Effect for that Ultimate Luxury Look
Extreme Heat Melting Technique Creates
Slightly Raised Layer of Ink with Slightly Uneven Texture
Precision Custom Engraving Plate Process Creates Smooth & Clean Lines, Allowing for Fine Line & Smoother Surface Details
Limited on Total Number of Ink Colors,
as multiple trips through thermography machine can melt previously applied ink colors
Can Require Heavier Paper Stock
Glossy finish can be added by using translucent inks Engraving Inks are 100% Opaque & Include Metallic Inks
High-Gloss or Shiny Finish to Thermographic Prints Matte Finish to Engraved Characters

Still have questions on raised print options? Come “feel” the difference between these raised printing services for yourself by stopping by the Graphic Ideals print shop in Phoenix.

Whatever your raised printing preferences, Graphic Ideals, your local Phoenix, independent, commercial printing company, can help you devise a plan to complete your thermographic printing project, from fancy gala event invitations to high-class raised-print business cards.

Call us at 602.381.8080, request an online quote or come into Graphic Ideals – our Phoenix, Arizona print shop located at 4631 E. Thomas Road today. We’re here to help.