Friday, 10 January 2014

OUGD504 - Design Production: Design For Print and Web (Laser Cut and Embossing)

Laser Cut

As I have printed all of my products out digitally, I thought it would be worthwhile to experiment a bit with embossing. As time is limited, I shared a laser cut slot with Ellen, we had booked in for one hour but ran over slightly. Below are some photographs of us setting up the document on the computer. We had to create outlines first and then import the files as jpeg images.

We set it up and let it run its course whilst continuing with some more digital design work on our laptops. I was really impressed with the outcome of this and had previously thought that my L'Orangerie logo may not work because it is so fine, but it turned out that this made it even more successful.

Having learnt from past experience, we used a piece of wood which wasn't too deep so that when it comes to emboss the design on to paper, it won't need as much pressure.

Once we had run the machine over our work twice to make sure that it had engraved deep enough, we then took it to one of the technicians who helped us to cut all of our work down to the correct size so we were able to use it to emboss.

Looking back in retrospect we should have spaced the work out in a bit more of an orderly manner, as this would have helped us when embossing later on. 

I produced the same logo at three different sizes and when it came out it looked like this. It obviously needed a good clean, but it was also noticeable that the wood surrounding the laser cut logo was actually flaking away, and therefore needed removing. I wondered at first whether or not to do this because the wood had already been cut in to quite deeply and therefore the outcome of my embossing would already be successful. However, at the rate it was falling away from the wood it made sense to sand it all down because otherwise my work would have been left marked.

Here the effect of sanding it down is obvious and demonstrates that it was a successful choice. It also made the logo stand proud and provided me with an even stronger block to use when embossing at the end of this procedure.

This is what my final three blocks looked like once I had finished sanding them all down. I am really pleased with how crisp they look and cannot wait to try them out on my work. I am just hoping that they are as successful as I would like them to be, as ideally I would love for the business cards to be embossed.

Here it is obvious where all of the grain has been removed, and it also demonstrates how closely the laser cutter has engraved the logo out of the wood.

After using the sand paper to remove any loose wood, I then used a sanding block and rubbed over the top of my design to make sure that the logo was completely clean and ready to use.

This is the final result and is now ready to use to emboss my work.


I went to Vernon Street to use the hydraulic press which I also experimented with for my print brief. I therefore knew how to use it, it was just a case of trying to produce as many samples as possible in the time available on the day. 


I am really pleased with the outcome of my experiments. To start with I used the paper which I have used to print all of my products out on to, which is 120gsm ivory paper and this is the result I got below. I noticed that the smaller the woodblock, the more likely the paper is to crease around the edges, whereas the top example worked perfectly. 

I took two pieces of paper with me, both with my business card fronts printed on eight times. I then lined up the wood blocks underneath as many times as possible to try and get the best result. The one which stood out to me the most was the largest logo. I am really pleased with the outcome and think that the way it runs off the edge of the paper works perfectly to add another dimension to my work and to also demonstrate the versatility of my logo. I also love how the grain in the wood has left an indent in the paper which I think reflects the texture of an orange, this is extremely appropriate.

Below are two more photographs of the samples I produced which worked well, both of which are the created using the largest woodblock. I have decided that I am going to use these for my final product and hope that when it comes to me cutting them out, mounting them on card, and then adding the backs of them on, that they will look just how I am hoping, because essentially this is how L'Orangerie will be promoted throughout the year travelling around the UK, as well as any promotional material.

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