Share This:

At American Stationery, we’ve been printing quality stationery since 1919, so we understand the terminology and use it freely in our product descriptions and elsewhere in our site and even in this blog. For those of you who aren’t printing experts or industry professionals, we’d like to take a step back and explain what we do in broad strokes, process by process.

Embossed Stationery
Embossing is a process in which your stationery is placed between two heated textured plates containing your name, initials, design or monogram that are squeezed together. As a result of this process, your personalization is raised from the surface of the paper. American Stationery offers embossed personalization on many different styles of stationery.

Raised Printing “Thermography”
Thermography is the process in which a fine powder is placed on the printed image or personalization before the ink is dry. Once the powder has been applied, the stationery is ran through an oven, applying heat consistently over the stationery and ink. The heat causes the ink and powder to fuse and the result is a slight raise in the personalization. Not only does the raised type give your stationery an elegant feel, the slight shine on your personalization makes it look even better too.

Flat Print
Flat print is created via offset printing. Your personalization is created and then placed on a metal plate. After the plate has been developed, ink will only adhere to the personalization area. The plate is attached to the printing press. As the plate hits each new sheet of paper or card stock, the ink applied to the plate is transferred to your stationery. Typically, flat print is inexpensive compared to thermograved or embossed stationery products.

Foil Stamping
Foil stamping is the process of fusing foil to paper. A thin layer of foil is placed between the paper and a heated die which contains your personalization. The die cuts and heats the foil, fusing it to the paper wherever personalization is located.


Calligraphy is the most elegant way to personalize your stationery. Reminiscent of ages long past, calligraphy is based on a hand-written personalization. Due to the time and added skill involved, calligraphy is also the most expensive way to personalize stationery, and therefore often reserved for the most formal occasions.

The process of letterpress was invented by Johannes Gutenburg in 1450. Today, it is a rare and time consuming process. Metal type is placed into a frame. The frame is then placed into the press. The press runs and produces impressed lettering. Letterpress designs are usually very elegant with a look and feel you can not achieve with other processes. The letterpress process also allows the printed to use soft or textured paper stock that can not be used during other processes because the letterpress does not actually touch the paper.

We hope we’ve cleared up some confusion or given you some new information. Sometimes we get carried away with what we love and forget not everyone knows stationery as well as we do.

Share This:

Leave a Reply