While we hate to admit it, as we move more and more to rely on technology and less and less on paper, your business card is often times the first impression that potential clients or customers will have of your business.  In a sea (or pocket) full of cards, its important to find creative ways to make your cards rise above the competition.

If you are looking for a way to make your business cards stand out from the rest, there are many specialty printing techniques that can help you accomplish this and help you achieve the impact you want in your card’s first impression.

These enhancements typically cost more than a standard business card because of the additional time required during the printing and production process. However, if these techniques are used in moderation, along with good design, the results can be stunning and well worth the investment.

These same techniques can also be used to enhance folders, stationary, and promotional materials, all in all furthering the consistency and impact of your brand.

Give us a call here at the NOX Studio and we can get you on the right track with your business cards and brand materials.

{Not all samples are from NOX Creative }
Printing Techniques


A form of printing in which set type is inked, then impressed directly onto the printing surface. The printing turnaround time often takes a little longer than regular cards, but the results are beautiful.

(letterpressed with painted edges)



Pressing an image into paper to create a 3D effect that can be seen and felt. Embossing may also be done “blind” (with just the color of the paper showing through) or “register” (combining with ink or foil for special effects).

(Registered emboss)


Blind Embossing

Method of creating raised logos or characters on paper without ink. In this process, two metal dies are used; one with raised logo or characters and another with matching but recessed logo or characters. When a sheet of paper is pressed between these dies, blind embossing occurs.



In Debossing, the image is pressed “into” the paper, creating depressions rather than raised impressions such as embossing. Debossing can also be used “blind” (without ink) or used with foil & inks.



Foil Embossing

Combination of foil stamping – application of foil with heat – and embossing, creating a raised impression that results in a raised and foil stamped image. There are many foil colors to choose from: black, white, silver, copper, rainbow silver, rainbow gold and pearl along with a few other colors.


Foil Stamping

Is the application of pigment or metallic foil placed on paper with a slight impression to produce that high end reflective surface.

photo (7)


Metallic Ink

Metallic inks are basically tinted varnishes with metallic particles. As the ink dries, the metallic particles rise to the surface and start to reflect light. Metallics are not as reflective as foils but are more cost effective and come in more color options. Custom colors can be created with metallics.


Thermography Printing

Thermography is a process used in conjunction with a conventional offset printing press, where a piece is printed and then while the ink is still wet a powder is dusted over the wet ink and melted, causing a raised effect.

Spot UV

As the name suggests, a Spot Varnish is applied to chosen spots of a printed piece. This has the affect of highlighting and drawing attention to that part of the design, and provides varied textures on a single printed surface. This adds a lot of interest, and can identify the printing as a premium piece. Spot UV is simply adding a clear coat to a designated area within your design.


Spot UV with Gold Metallic Ink

photo (8)

Die Cut

Die-cutting is the cutting of paper stock to create special shapes by using sharp steel blades (called a die). Laser cut is another technique that has similar results.


laser cut

Duplexing or Triplexing

This technique is about using two or more sheets of paper glued together. The effect achieved is commonly referred to as edge-painting or edge-tipping, because a different-colored sheet of paper that is inserted between the two main ones produces colored edges “inside” the card, (Triplexing) as seen here:



If you really want to get fancy, You can combine multiple techniques to your card by duplexing to achieve that “wow” factor.

(Sample is duplex of two matt finish card stocks with die cut and foil stamp on one side and spot varnish applied on back.)




Plastic cards are printed on a PVC just like a credit card but come in various weights and styles. You can get frosted, transparent colors and you can apply some of the above techniques to plastic such as foil stamped or embossed registered printing with opaque colors and die cut.



There are a variety of metals to print on these days such as steel, copper, stainless, brass, or even anodized metals in different colors and finishes. Some vendors allow you to apply an etching, embossing or die cut. This all depends on the print vendor of choice.

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Micro-Thin Veneer wooden business cards are really a unique way to get your audience’s attention. There are several types of wood to choose from depending on what is in stock and the vendor of choice. You can have wooden cards laser cut, foil stamped, registered printed and die cut.



Rounded Corners

Other options can include just rounding 1, 2, or 3 corners.


Mini Cards/Panoramic

Use this format to make a vertical or horizontal card.



bazaarcard copy


Slim Cut


Handmade (One of our favorite techniques)

Expensive fancy printing techniques are not always the solution to making the impact you want with your brand. You can alway go with a handmade card or put some handmade touches to your card to get the same great impression from your audience. Here is an example of a brand that used a stamp and manual hand held embosser.


Each brand calls for it’s own creative solution. Let us help you with yours.