Die Stamping

This highly skilled process is commonly regarded as the ‘crème de la crème’ of the printing world. Often referred to as ‘engraved’, ‘copperplate’ or ‘intaglio’ printing, no other process can come close to the intricate results die stamping is capable of producing. However, quite ironically, this sort of innovation in quality of print comes not from the modern, digital age we currently live in, but rather dates back to the late 15th Century!

Die stamping die copperplate

Die stamping initially involves the production of either a machine etched or a hand engraved steel die or copperplate. This ‘female’ die is then mounted onto the mechanical moving arm of a large die stamping press where it is inked. The excess ink is wiped off the surface of the die (leaving only the ink within the engraved image) and then finally pressed under extreme pressure (over a ton per square inch) onto the paper. This process produces a beautiful raised, 3D image of incredible clarity and quality.

Die Stamping Press

Given the unbeatable finish and fine detail of die stamping it is the natural choice when printing coats of arms, crests, symbols and corporate logos. The vibrancy of die stamping inks and the raised 3D effect of the engraved image truly bring the page to life.

die stamping


Die Stamping Tips:

  • Due to the huge forces at play when die stamping, the paper will often ‘bruise’ on the reverse. If required, this can be covered up by duplexing another sheet of paper to the reverse. This in turn allows you to print extra information on the back. This is particularly popular for invitations where intricate detail and colour are required on both sides to create that immediate ‘WOW’ factor.
  • For shorter runs, the most common dies used in die stamping are made from copper (hence the nickname for die-stamping being ‘Copperplate Printing’). However, for longer runs we often advise using a steel die as they are much more durable and hardwearing.

Cutting Die Stamping Force_1030x320

  • Despite the 3D effect of this process, die stamped letterheads will still continue to run through the majority of office printers enabling quick and easy overprinting for beautiful headed corporate stationery.
  • The inks used for dies stamping are renowned for their incredible depth of colour. Most of the inks we use contain up to 80% pigment. This helps to give the pure, rich finish to die stamped stationery which sets it apart. A major benefit of these inks is that, due to their unrivalled opacity we are able to print lighter colours onto darker coloured paper stocks (A common example of this is printing white onto black paper for ultimate contrast)

Blue Die Stamping Ink

  • The maximum area that can be die stamped is limited to 210mm x 130mm
  • With multi-coloured images or crests – each colour will need a separate copperplate or steel die and require a separate pass through the die stamping press


  • When providing artwork for die stamping work we require all areas to be die stamped to be provided as separated press ready vector PDF files in 100% black (key).
  • Larger, block areas of colour are difficult to die stamp as the ink falls out of the engraved image due to gravity. For any designs that would require larger block areas of colour we would suggest foil blocking these areas.