Thermography achieves a look that is similar to engraving. The process used to create it is much less labor intensive. The card stock is run through a printing press. The ink is then sprinkled with a powdered polymer. The paper is then heated, causing the polymer to melt and raise, giving the appearance of raised ink. The only noticeable difference from engraving is the absence of the bruise. Also, Thermography dries with sheen whereas engraving dries matte. The ink has a tendency to be slightly more transparent than engraving inks. With the higher end thermographers the differences are virtually undetectable.
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A few words on thermography...
Because of its machine made beginnings, thermo is a much less expensive alternative to engraving. The difference in price is typically 10-20%. However the dark paper/light ink combo is out (boo). The extreme heat just doesn't allow it. Turnaround is shorter than engraving, clocking in at 2 to 4 weeks.
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