By Lara Copeland, assistant editor, PostPress
In the state where “everything is bigger” and the image of the American cowboy reigns, it’s no surprise that a greeting card from a Texas business would be oversized and feature a cowboy Santa. Slate Group, a commercial printer in Lubbock, Texas, wanted to make a big splash with its 2016 Christmas card, and the company called on Seidl’s Bindery, Inc., Houston, Texas, to help reach that goal.
“The customer desired an oversized Christmas card, with large foil stamping and embossing areas,” noted company Vice President Matt Seidl. The card isn’t the typical size, measuring 22×8.5″. Utilizing a Bobst Fuego folder-gluer, the piece was tri-folded to an 8.5×11″ finished size. A heavy 18 pt. uncoated stock (Concrete RAW Cover) from Neenah was used for the card.
It first was printed with a metallic silver ink by Slate Group for the word “from” and a background design that was included on the top and bottom flap of the card. The back side of the card features a printed Santa wearing a cowboy hat that was created in-house by the Slate Group design team. The greeting card then was sent to Seidl for the foil stamping, embossing and final scoring and folding. The foil stamping and embossing were completed on a DGM Majestic foil stamping and embossing press.
The first pass included both flat foil stamping and combination (foil and embossing), utilizing a bright silver #10 from API Americas. The pass encompassed a large foil and embossed “Texas” and the company’s logo at the bottom portion of the upper flap. On the bottom flap, the words “Wishing You A Merry Christmas” and “Holly Jolly” were flat stamped and the word “Christmas” was foil stamped and embossed (combination) in this pass as well. The back of the card with the printed Santa also includes a silver border accomplished in this same pass on press.
The second pass of foil included a border above and below the word “Texas,” as well as gold embellishments over-stamped on top of the metallic silver ornamentations printed on the card. The back of the card features more gold foil that frames the sketch of the long-bearded Santa with his cowboy hat. The gold foil used is a satin metallic #88 from Infinity Foils.
Seidl was presented with the challenge of producing a small quantity of Christmas cards in a short period of time. Wanting to keep costs reasonable, Seidl came up with a plan to fine-tune the layout to allow for less set-up. “The job was set up as a work and turn so that we could purchase one set of foil stamping and embossing dies for each of the two passes,” Seidl continued. “This allowed us to do one set-up and simply turn the sheet, saving both time and money.” Both the copper flat stamp and brass combination dies were provided by Universal Engraving, Inc.
Also facing a time constraint since the design wasn’t finalized until the middle of November, the team wanted to complete the job and get it in the mail in time for the holiday. “The customer’s flexibility to allow us to provide them with the selection of different foils already in our inventory not only saved them the cost of shipping, but also saved us time. We were able to expedite the production,” Seidl added.
The piece was well received by Seidl’s client, as well as the printing industry. It won the Gold for “Most Creative Use of Foil and Embossing – Greeting Card,” in the Foil & Specialty Effects Association’s 24th annual FSEA Gold Leaf Awards competition this year. “Winning a Gold Leaf award, to me, always is a great accomplishment, and it always is good to see what the competition is producing. Even a Bronze award is something to be proud of,” Seidl said.
Equally important, the greeting card impressed Slate Group. “The customer was pleased with our standards of quality,” Seidl relayed. The success of this “Texas Santa” piece has motivated the company to continue working to produce similar jobs. “We have already done a similar invitation with two color foils and the same layout, which we will be submitting for the next Gold Leaf Awards competition in 2018,” he affirmed.