Ciara Panacchia is a graphic artist transplanted from Carlow, Ireland to Illinois. Inspired by her daughter and her heritage, she began illustrating a series of bilingual books to help teach her daughter the Irish language. Ciara Panacchia has written a guide to popular printing techniques on while studying them herself for her class project:


In college in Waterford, Ireland, one of our class projects was called “Techniques.” The brief was to become familiar with every printing technique we could and show them through physical pieces. It was a fun project. However, when you leave school, you don’t always get the chance to work with these really amazing printing techniques or even figure them into your budget, but what I will talk about in this guide are popular and affordable.

In her article she talks about the 8 of most popular and affordable printing techniques out there and provides photographic examples for them. A summarised list and some of the photos can be seen below and for more information and insight you can see her article by clicking here.



Embossing creates a raised impression on stock, debossing creates a depressed impression on stock.


Silk lamination provides a soft, silk-like finish, is water-resistant, is tear-resistant, and complements vibrant colors. The effect could be glossy, dull, or satin.


A varnish is a liquid coating applied to a printed surface to add a clear glossy, matte, satin, or neutral finish.


A foil layer is affixed to a certain material by a heating process.




Thermography produces raised printing similar in appearance to engraving.


Die cut involves cutting irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.


A surface with raised letters is inked and pressed to the surface of the printing substrate to reproduce an image in reverse.


A printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that allows ink to transfer onto the material.




Embossing example Debossing example Silk Lamination example Varnish example Foil example Thermography example Die Cut Example Letterpress example 1 Letterpress example 2 Silk Screen Example