Category: Printing

Micro Screening in Offset Printing – Because Details Matter

Micro Screening – Because Details Matter

In the world of print, achieving exceptional image quality is crucial. Whether crafting captivating photographs, intricate graphics, or vibrant materials, the ability to capture fine details and reproduce colors accurately is essential. Enter micro screening, a powerful technique revolutionizing print quality.

Micro screening breaks down images into minuscule dots or pixels, precisely arranged to create smooth gradients, fine details, and accurate colors. This meticulous process ensures sharp, vibrant, true-to-life prints.

Unlike traditional screening methods, which rely on larger dots and coarser patterns, micro screening utilizes much smaller dots and finer patterns, allowing for greater detail and resolution. By leveraging advanced algorithms and software, micro screening optimizes dot placement, smoothing transitions between colors and minimizing unwanted artifacts like moiré patterns.

The Benefits of Micro Screening:

Superior Image Quality

Micro screening enables the reproduction of images with exceptional clarity, sharpness, and detail, elevating the overall quality of printed materials.

Enhanced Color Accuracy

With micro screening, colors are reproduced with remarkable accuracy, ensuring that prints faithfully capture the nuances and subtleties of the original artwork or design.

Reduced Moiré Patterns

Micro screening helps minimize the occurrence of moiré patterns, those unwanted interference patterns that can detract from the quality of printed images, resulting in cleaner and more professional-looking prints.

Increased Print Resolution

By utilizing smaller dots and finer patterns, micro screening allows for higher print resolutions, making it possible to reproduce fine text, intricate graphics, and high-quality photographs with unparalleled clarity and precision.

Versatility and Flexibility

Micro screening is compatible with a wide range of printing substrates and ink types, offering printers greater flexibility in meeting diverse printing requirements and delivering exceptional results across various applications.

Types of Screens

Click each image to for more detail. 

Stochastic Micro Screen:

Stochastic screening, also known as FM (frequency modulation) screening, utilizes random dot patterns of varying sizes instead of traditional halftone dots. These dots are dispersed evenly across the image, creating a more natural and continuous gradient.

  • Advantages:
    • Improved image quality: Stochastic screens produce smoother gradients and finer details compared to traditional halftone screens, resulting in higher-quality prints.
    • Minimized moiré patterns: By eliminating regular dot patterns, stochastic screens reduce the occurrence of moiré patterns, especially in high-frequency areas.
    • Increased color fidelity: Stochastic screening allows for better color control and accuracy, leading to more vibrant and lifelike prints.

Hybrid Standard Micro Screen:

Hybrid screening combines traditional halftone dots with stochastic dots in specific areas of the image. This approach combines the benefits of both screening methods to optimize print quality.

  • Advantages:
    • Enhanced detail rendition: Hybrid screening preserves fine details while minimizing the risk of moiré patterns, striking a balance between image quality and consistency.
    • Versatility: Hybrid screening allows printers to adapt dot patterns based on the requirements of different images, providing flexibility in achieving optimal results across various print jobs.
    • Improved efficiency: By selectively applying stochastic dots where needed, hybrid screening can optimize ink usage and reduce printing time without sacrificing quality.

Standard Micro Screen:

Standard screening, also known as conventional halftone screening, employs regular dot patterns of fixed size and spacing. These dots vary in size to reproduce different tones and shades in the printed image.

  • Advantages:
    • Cost-effectiveness: Standard screening is a cost-efficient option for most print jobs, as it requires less processing time and resources compared to stochastic or hybrid screening methods.
    • Wide compatibility: Standard screens are widely supported by printing equipment and software, making them accessible and easy to implement for printers of all sizes.
    • Predictable results: With well-established parameters and workflows, standard screening delivers consistent and predictable print results, making it a reliable choice for many commercial printing applications.

Leveraging our Heidelberg SX74 offset printing press, which combines micro screening precision with advanced capabilities, we deliver superior print quality. Whether utilizing stochastic screening for smoother gradients or traditional halftone screening for reliable results, our printing solutions are crafted to meet the highest standards of quality and precision.


Trust us to bring your vision to life with stunning clarity and precision, exceeding expectations in every project.

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All That Glitters: Invitations that Sparkle

categories: Events, Printing, Projects

All That Glitters

Sometimes it’s not gold. Sometimes it’s a really, really, gorgeous paper stock… And a few tricks of the trade.

With that being said, we’d like to introduce you to one of our favorite paper manufacturers, Legion Paper.

About Legion Paper

Legion delivers a tactile quality to their paper, inspired by artists, that’s intended to help them imagine the unimaginable… and then to create it.

“We want to enhance the art works of creative people, whether it’s a photographer, painter, designer or printmaker. We are proud to have designed papers that have enabled artists to create what they were limited in creating before.” – Ginsburg

Legion traveled the globe to study paper. Studying cultures, papers and techniques that have proven their value through time. They traveled to all of these mills, not to bring back what already existed but to make what was needed. What was needed to deliver the quality techniques of the past to the artists of today.

The Coach Gala Invitation

All of this, and more, is the reason Legion had the perfect stock for producing this gorgeous invitation and envelope for The Coach Gala.

A Look at The Invitation

When you see a full stack of these invitations together, the glitter is seamless. Moving from the edges of the paper to the face of the invitation as if the invitation was made out of a block of glitter itself.

But that’s not necessarily the case. The seamless beauty is by design and by the magic of production.

So let’s dive into how we made this happen.

Stock: For the paper, we used Legions Mirri Sparkle. Mirri Sparkle uses an extremely smooth and amazingly sparkly metallic film that is laminated to a white box board base. The thickness of the stock holds a tactile definition of quality in itself. When you hold it, you’ll know.

This paper was perfect for the over-the-top sparkle that was needed for the Coach Gala invitation.


Gilding: Believe it or not, this invitation is not made out of a solid block of glitter. The face of Mirri Sparkle paper stock is gorgeous, but it’s laminated onto a white board stock, so when it’s cut there’s a white edge by default.

This is where our gilding techniques really sparkled. We first spray painted the edges with a silver base to mask the white the edges, and then we dipped the edges in glitter. To create an absolutely seamless wrap of edge to edge sparkle.

Print process: At our shop, it’s rare that the printing process is the simplest part of the design, because of all of the capabilities we have available. But this piece needed nothing more than a one color black offset run to perfect this job. The paper stock and gilding did most of the heavy lifting to make this job a real stunner.

Coach Gala Envelope

Simplicity at its finest.

The overtop sparkle of the invitation was complemented by the beautiful blind embossing of the logo on the Miri H Gunmetal Metallic custom built envelope. 

Stock:  For this stunning envelope we looked to Legion yet again. The envelope was produced in the gunmetal color from their Miri H line. The line is defined by its bright metalized mirror-like finish and laminated to a white stock base. 

You can see gunmetal featured between the gold and copper metallic colors in this swatch book.

Process: The only process on this envelope is the blind embossing on the face. This kind of paper is absolutely perfect for blind embossing. The metallic nature of the paper causes the light and reflections to define every curve, every indent and every highlight to make this logo look as amazing as possible. Giving the logo the effect of being jewelry in itself.  

Process: Blind Embossing

Construction: Envelopes like these aren’t typically for sale in bulk, neither is the ability to emboss a logo on the face of a pre-made envelope. We made these envelopes ourselves from scratch. 

The paper gets passed through once flat for the blind embossing and then a second time for die cut and scoring. Once the envelope was embossed, cut and scored we put our gloves on and put these together by hand. To then prepare these for hand delivery. 

Accompanying Items

Insert: This invitation was sent with a vellum insert to accompany the invitation with a list of the chairs, benefactors, patrons and supporters of the event.  The velum insert provided a soft overlay to the sparkle texture already defined by Mirri.

Vellum overlaid over invitation and envelope.

Reply Card and Envelope: Along with the invitation and insert, was a simple black offset reply card and envelope in the Mohawk Superfine Ultrawhite line.  The white stock with black ink paired well and was perfect for the practical application of the reply card intent. 


If a hand delivered and hand constructed envelope are not in your projects plan, there are so many alternative options to make some of these techniques practical for your next project. 

For instance, while blind embossing on the face of an envelope is only available for hand constructed envelopes, we can blind emboss on almost any back envelope flap of premade envelope. 

Need custom addressing too? A lot of times we see clients build invitations like this and send them in an outer envelope. This outer envelope is perfect for custom data merge addressing. The outer envelope would also protect your product from some of the inherent wear and tear that happens within the mail process. 


Let us know! If you love this piece and want to incorporate some of these techniques into your next project, give us a call or contact us and we can talk about how we can make your next project really sparkle. 

2022 Calendar Contest!

Our team of craftsmen and women have worked hard all year, designing, planning and producing our 2022 calendar to showcase the many ways that we make print exciting. Letterpress, Intaglio, Foil Stamping, Digital and Offset Ink, Thermography and beautiful design are what we love doing here at Sunset.

To add to the fun of this calendar, we have created a hidden message within it.
By finding the hidden single letter in each month and figuring out the message
you can enter our contest to win an iPad!

As with every year, we combine the minds at Sunset and bring new perspective to the processes we use every day. This year with our  Letterpress processes, we over printed leaves already printed using a split fountain technique for November. For August we took UV ink and created a glow in the dark effect that is out of this world.

Our Intaglio months highlight just how lucky we are to be able let our imaginations take over and get creative while mixing inks on press to help enhance our design.

The Foil Stamping designs included in this year were something we took our time to evaluate, both before press and once our stamping dies were up to temperature. The simplicity of blind embossing vs registered embossing is a process we love to showcase.

Thermography is always something that we enjoy sharing with the design community on how to properly utilize as an embellishment. With the ability to use glitter to highlight October, it was spooky in the best way!

We have both Offset and Digital printed pages included in our calendar. With the addition of our new HP Indigo 5650 press with White Ink capability, a whole new world of printing was opened to us. We are now able to lay down multiple hits of white on dark stocks and print white under CMYK allowing us to create vibrant images on any color stock that we like.

If you would like your desk to become more colorful please Call or Email and we will send you your very own calendar to enjoy!

Enter to win our 2021 Calendar!

Our team of craftsmen and women have worked hard all year, designing, planning and producing our 2021 calendar to showcase the many ways that we make print exciting. Letterpress, Intaglio, Foil Stamping, Digital and Offset Ink, Thermography and  beautiful design are what we love doing here at Sunset. You can enter to win a calendar for you and a friend so you both have 365 days of color!

Sunset Letterpress Print Giveaway

categories: Printing, Projects

Love is in the air!

This is the first of many fun projects we have been discussing at Sunset. To show our love for our followers we are giving away 20 sets of  letterpress prints, arriving just in time for Valentine’s Day! These 8.5 x 11 prints fit perfectly in a frame and bring love and color to your walls. 

To enter the giveaway, fill out the form below, follow us on Instagram, like our V-Day giveaway post, tag your friends and share the love! Winners will be announced Feb 3rd. What better time to show your love for print and to share it with another than Valentines Day!