Strictly Business: How Do You Make Raised Ink Business Cards?

Side view of white business card stack on concrete desk 3D rendering

If you’re interested in raised ink business cards, then you’ve already worked out that the value of quality business cards. Some people say that the business card is dead, but that is clearly not true. While it is true that the majority of business cards end up in the bin, it is also true that if you have a high-quality business card, your card is more likely to be kept.

Depending on whose statistics you read, business cards actually offer a higher conversion rate than their digital alternatives. That also includes website landing pages. So the issue is not whether you should or shouldn’t be using a card, but what type of business card, and its level of quality.

In this article, you will learn about how you make raised ink business cards. As you learn about the process involved you will also see the connection to why these cards are an effective element in your marketing tool kit.

Embossed Or Raised?

If you have seen any stationery such as letterheads, envelopes, and business cards that have a raised element to their surface you may think they’re all the same thing. However, to be clear, some of this may be embossed rather than raised ink.

The key difference is that with embossing, the actual material (for example paper) itself is raised. In contrast, with raised ink, the substrate or paper/card is normal but the print onto the paper is built up using a special technique. The raised ink method allows for greater flexibility and individuality with the print you create. 

Understanding Thermography

In our modern times, there are many types of thermography. The word can be best understood by breaking it into its two components of ‘thermo’ and ‘graphy.’ It involves the application of heat in a process of creating an image or text.

The same word has come to refer to other technologies. For example, it can refer to a method of measuring heat without making contact with a surface. During this time of COVID-19, we see this type of technology all the time. 

Coming back to thermographic printing, it is important to understand there are at least 4 things needed to create raised text business cards. You need a substrate such as a card, ink, thermographic powder, and a heat source. 

Professional Printing Process

To employ a professional company is by far the simplest method in creating your raised ink business cards. This is a good option for lots of reasons. You will be able to rest easy that the final product is high quality and is as you intended it to be. 

A major driver for using business cards like this is to demonstrate your commitment to quality which is reflected in all aspects of your business. Your business card will stand out, be memorable, and more likely retained by its recipient. There are lots of providers for this type of printing, you can check out this one as an example

A professional printer will use an offset printer. This is important because it will allow the printer to use a special type of ink that’s slow drying that can be printed onto your cards using a printing plate, rather than digital printing. After the card is printed, an embossing powder made from plastic resins is applied to the card. 

Excess powder is vacuumed away from the card, and then the card is heated at temperatures of about 1000 degrees Fahrenheit for several seconds. This heating process enables the card to transfer heat to the powder which then melts creating the body for the raised text. As the card cools, so does the plastic resin and solidifies. 

Make Your Own Raised Ink Business Cards

Now that you understand the basic stages and ingredients needed to create raised ink business cards, you can probably see that you can do it yourself if you want to. You do not need an expensive offset printer. Instead, you can use a rubber stamp which basically follows the same principle as an offset printer.

After you have printed (using your stamp) your text or image, you will need to apply the thermography powder. The ink needs to be wet, so you’ll have to be quick in applying the powder. Once the powder is applied, you can remove the excess powder by raising the card or paper vertically and gently tapping it. 

You may not have a professional heat source like the printer shop, but you can use a hairdryer to heat the powder. Do this at about 6 inches from the powder and heat for about a minute. Then let the card cool and the raised ink should then solidify.

Why Make Your Own?

The answer to that question all depends on what industry you’re in. If you are in professional services such as medicine, law, construction, and engineering, then a professionally printed card may be the best choice.

However, if your business is in the arts and crafts spectrum of industries and your clientele is on a smaller scale, then making your own raised ink cards can be very charming and personal. Don’t underestimate how appealing that can be. 

Time to Raise Your Game

In this article, you’ve read about how to make raised ink business cards. You’ve learned about the basic ingredients needed and the principles that underlie the creation process. You’ve seen that you can if you want to, create your own cards following the same basic principles employed in a professional printing shop. 

Whether you want to do that or not, is up to you and may depend on the industry you serve. Either way, using business cards like this is an excellent way to raise your game and stand out from the competition. Check out other great marketing tips, strategies, and business-boosting articles on our site.