First Cards also creates and produces a series of cards with original and varied patterns using hot gilding or offset printing.
The texts and illustrations are laid out by computer. The definitive file is transferred, by exposure, on as many transparent films as there are colours. Different printing processes can then be used.
A fine film of metal (or silver) or colour is transferred by applying hot pressure on the paper.
This technique gives the cards a high quality finish. It is the only process capable of restoring the metal appearance of gold or silver, and cannot be obtained by traditional offset printing.
Unlike engraving which makes it possible to capitalise on relief, offset printing gives a nearly flat result. However, this process offers extensive flexibility for printed patterns and designs.
For four-colour printing, 4 films (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) are used to obtain a “photographic” rendering of the original.
These films are then used to expose flexible aluminium offset plates, and its photosensitive surface is then soaked with the printed patterns on the film.
On the machine, the plate is “wedged” on a cylinder. The ink roller is loaded with ink. This ink is deposited on the exposed areas of the offset plate, which in turn transfers the image on the blanket that prints the paper.