No matter how strong a design may be, it falls flat if the printing isn’t pristine. TOG.ink combines both the mastery that comes with 65+ years of experience with the modern convenience of uploading your designs online. Not to mention quick turnaround times after the order is placed. Not only does the company pride itself on the quality craftsmanship of its foil stamping, letterpress, thermography, die-cutting and laser-cutting — printed alone or in conjunction — but TOG.ink focuses on educating its clients so that the final result really showcases their talents.
A series of online tutorials are planned to debut in 2019, but in the meantime, I sat down with Art Director Eric Manske and Marketing Director Meigan Westermann to take a closer look at what TOG.ink is all about. “We are invested in making every product we print as perfect as possible,” Meigan told me. “Our business model is simple: You design, we print. We are the silent partner. We shine the spotlight on you, and you get all the credit.”
When it comes to digital printing, TOG.ink has an entire fleet of HP Digital Presses, which are regarded as the best in the industry. Thanks to these workhorses, digital pieces set an instant celebratory mood on everything from holiday cards to napkins. To some, the only limitation with digital printing is that it’s flat, Eric told me. Anyone who has ever walked National Stationery Show knows that true paper lovers regard any printed piece with their fingers as well as their eyes — so TOG.ink prides itself on its ability to pair digital with more tactile processes.
The rich history of TOG.ink sets it apart from other printers in its approach, Meigan emphasized. “Anybody can do digital but we’ve been doing other print processes much longer, so our story is a little different. We started with the other and added digital.”
TOG.ink offers custom foil designs and a collection of stock foil designs you can choose from, all available on a wide breadth of papers and of course napkins. The birth announcement below incorporates die cutting with great effect!
While there is nothing “bargain” about the results, designers get a great bang for their buck to pass along to their clients. TOG.ink’s minimum quantity is low and there is no separate die charge, which can run as much as $150 elsewhere.
Letterpress is on many a client’s mind these days, although there is nothing new about it, having been invented in the mid-15th century. TOG.ink offers 1- and 2-color letterpress on a wide breadth of paper options — Lettra being a favorite — as well as a slew of house papers that yield beautiful results when paired with designs that incorporate calligraphy and hand-lettering.
“We print old-fashioned methods in a digital world,” Meigan explained. “You can design with your software and upload your art to our site so it is fast and easy. But if you choose foil, letterpress, or die-cutting, we use 150-year-old Heidelberg presses to do the work. I love how technology has streamlined part of the process, but the actual print is done the same way it has been done for over a century.”
From customer care to the print operators, everyone is focused on quality work. “We have people here who are very passionate about what they do,” described Eric. “They look at it all day long and want to make everything as good as possible. If something doesn’t seem right, they will stop production to query the client and tweak if necessary.”
I have always thought of thermography as the red-headed step-child of printing. However, this classic process features raised printing for a beautifully touchable experience, in one or two colors no less!
“A lot of fun things can happen with thermography because you can set things up as whatever color you want — including opaque, or light printing on darker papers — and do an elegant and traditional look, or you can get a little crazy by playing with tones of gray,” Eric observed. “A one-color gradient is fun to touch and creates a watercolor look.”
“We have really tried to invigorate this process,” Meigan added. “Our favorite way to use it is digital plus elements in thermography, as in the design below. This method can be used similar to foil with unexpected and dazzling results!”A beautiful die-cut literally gives an edge to many a design for a definite wow factor. Choose from four die-cut shapes for which there is no upcharge (although there may be a slight fee for certain paper options). Custom designs can also be created via custom quote requests. Die-cuts pop extraordinarily well with both foil and digital, as can be seen below.
Laser-cutting has really come into the spotlight lately, and its intricate detail makes it easy to see why. Designing laser cut stationery can obviously be complicated, so it’s easy to build a standout piece from TOG.ink’s stock laser cut designs. If you want to design from scratch like the invitation below, simply submit a custom quote request.With TOG.ink, you have a partner dedicated to creating a top-notch product you’ll be proud to attach your name to. Their aim is to simplify the most complex project with exquisite results that will please even the most demanding client. The upcoming online tutorials are a way for TOG.ink to help designers set their brands apart.
“We’re not just a print provider, we’re making an investment in education to help train designers to create the very best printed piece,” Meigan underscored.
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to TOG.ink and start that next project!