We love the possibilities that digital printing presents. It means that if you can imagine it, chances are, we can print it. Of course, we still can’t go past the high quality result of traditional offset printing, with high definition colours for a crisp result.

For this piece, we’ve juxtaposed elements of digital printing with offset printing, showcased through the use of clever die cut holes. Technology might have changed the game for us when it comes to printing options, but the art of combining multiple techniques for maximum impact is a craft that can transform a design into a piece of art.


We envisaged a set of prints that would not only serve as pieces of art to be enjoyed and appreciated, but that could be used by you, artists and creators, to inspire your own designs. They are tools to spark creativity in your own work, and to help you imagine just what’s possible in bringing your visions to life.


In collaboration with Popgun Creative, we wanted to create pieces that showcased the various printing techniques we call on at Laserfoil. To marry both modern-day digital printing with the more timeless technique of offset printing, we decided on a contemporary take on old-style circus posters. It gave us the opportunity to have fun with fonts and get creative with colours, while also incorporating the impact of a die cut effect.


This design was created in two files – one digital and one offset. To highlight the versatility and benefits of the offset print we decided to print this as a two colour design with overlapping layers to create a third colour within the design. We also decided to make one of those colours a neon colour to really highlight the versatility of the offset process in combination with pantone spot colours.

The digital print has shading to reveal the way digital can make good use of CMYK colour mixing within a print. If you look closely you will see the slight gloss of the surface that is typical of digital printing compared to the matte result that the offset print gives you.


Offset printing takes a careful process of setting up each plate, making sure they are aligned. We then run the press for a while for the inks to fully settle on the rollers and the colour to become consistent.

Offset print does require time to dry. These prints were left for several days before adding a seal to help avoid the ink rubbing off – another potential byproduct of offset printing. Once the ink was fully dry and sealed we were ready for the second step – digital printing. The digital print was carefully aligned so that the digital print would show through the cut outs of the offset print correctly.


With both parts printed, it was time to add the cut outs to the offset sheet. The cutting form was made with a precise process of bending cutting rule to shape, adding joins where necessary to create points. The end result is a cutting form of knives, bent to shape and held together within a plywood base. This was run on our 18 x 13 inch die cutting platen.


We ran it slowly to avoid the ‘cut outs’ falling out inside the press – something that can happen a lot with die cutting. We also wanted to avoid putting ‘nicks’ in the cutting form – something that printers often do to avoid that issue! Once the die cutting was complete we needed to strip all these cut out pieces out of the art print before we were ready to glue.


Putting the two pieces together took some creative thinking. We needed to add glue to the underside of the offset and die cut print, while ensuring there was no glue on the cutouts once the pieces were put together. So, we modified our process slightly; we laid the prints on rails to raise the prints off the table and then had to carefully align each print by hand as we applied it to the digital print beneath it. Having taken the time to get the alignment right at the time of printing, this part of the process required minimal movement for perfect positioning. A final trim in the guillotine, and the Digital and Offset print was complete.


We’ve stayed ahead of the game by ensuring we have incredible printing technology on site, but as you can see, great results still come down to the precision and attention to detail that a skilled and experienced printer can deliver. Getting experimental with printing techniques, and cleverly combining different approaches, can result in an engaging, tactile and eye catching piece of work.

Curious to know more about what’s possible? Our capabilities don’t stop there – read more about our foil and emboss print and our letterpress and deboss print, too.

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