Mark Steuer – Goldcraft

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Published:  January 14, 2013
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Mark Steuer – Goldcraft

Mark Steuer of Goldcraft Embossing talks metallic foils, sculptured embossing and business card envy.

My father and my godfather founded Goldcraft Embossing in 1970. These two men had a great passion for print and its power to alter people’s perceptions of a brand or product. In particular, they were always convinced that foil stamping gave print jobs a certain regal feel. They imparted this passion to my brother Martin and I. To paraphrase from a little-known movie, we wanted to learn the ways of the force and become Jedi foilers like our father before us.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the workday is when an end-user comes into the factory for a press check with their designer. They are fascinated by some of our more antiquated machinery, but always appreciative of the craftsmanship involved in producing fine work. I think these moments are what inspire people to continue engaging the print industry to help market their brands.

Personally, I love a simple metallic foil combined with sculptured embossing. The combination is the unbeatable print finish for ‘wow factor’. The foil throws light back out while the sculptured emboss disperses it in an array of dazzling angles. This would have to be closely followed by Allkotes’ TouchKote. It takes print beyond a mere visual experience into the tactile.

The digital revolution has hurt many conventional printing companies; however, those that truly value print continue to incorporate special finishes into their jobs. As a result, the mass market jobs are partly being replaced by ‘bells and whistles’ shorter-run work. The digital age has caused a divergence in the value of print. Some see print as a time-consuming, expensive means of communication. Others see an opportunity in a communications space cleared of clutter. As designers and brands seek unique and complex ways of communicating, they have taken a deeper interest in print to see what partly forgotten skills might be called into action.

Flexibility and an understanding of each print process are key to success with any project. The way an image looks on a computer screen is not necessarily how it will appear on a piece of paper. Foil stamping is often the last process in print production and so we have the challenge of foiling on an infinite combination of stocks with different inks, varnishes and coatings, produced on different machines by different operators on different days.

Globally, print will continue to be an important part of the marketing mix. For Australia, the industry future is less certain. It rests predominantly on the manufacturing industry. When you make something in Australia, you generally have to put it in a printed package and create all the print collateral that goes along with it. The cross rates on the Australian dollar affect all this too. One thing I am certain of is, as portrayed humorously in the movie American Psycho, that there will always be business card envy. At Goldcraft, we will always have someone’s business card to foil.

Thumbnail: Blacklist Studio – LOVE. print

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