Giving Thanks to Our JB Team

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Unlike millions of turkeys (sorry, turkeys), we here at JournalBooks, have a lot to be thankful for this year.

For us, Thanksgiving is all about community. We are proud to have our products made right here in Charlotte, North Carolina and couldn’t do that without our amazing Production staff. One of the ways we show how grateful we are for these unsung heroes is with our Annual Thanksgiving Pot Luck. Our office staff whips up their favorite dishes for the production staff to enjoy as a thank you for all of their hard work. Not only is this tradition a tasty one, but it’s also exciting to experience how our team celebrates with different cultures and traditions coming together to create one big delicious meal.

In addition to our in-house celebration, we also like to show our gratitude in our community by helping our neighbors in need. This year, we are sponsoring a Food and Fund Drive for Second Harvest of Metrolina. The Food Bank serves over 700 non-profit partners including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and low-income day cares in order to help feed 527,000 people living in poverty in 19 North and South Carolina counties. If you’d like to help us contribute, you can donate online HERE


Color Capabilities

A little bit of color can transform a simple message into a dazzling marketing piece. But which decoration method will best fit your client’s needs? In this post, we’re going to give you some tips on how to best utilize our color printing methods, with some potential scenarios you might encounter.

Silkscreening & Color Matching

You’ve just landed your biggest account, a well-known corporation with strict brand guidelines. They utilize specific Pantone® colors, PMS 165C Orange and White, and this project is no exception. They’ve expressed interest in foil stamping on a white NP-700C, but they need a guaranteed color match. What do you suggest?ScreenPrint

Solution: We cannot guarantee an exact color match to our foils, so instead, offer a silkscreened cover!  Silkscreening allows for more precise color matching, and yields beautiful results (see left) — most consistently on a white paperboard cover. (Bonus: their artwork can be a lot more intricate because silkscreening also achieves finer details) Keep in mind, the color of the cover material can sometimes interfere with color matching. Offset printing is also available for inserts, tip-ins, or custom common filler, and allows for color matching!


Always choose a light color or white material when an exact match is required.

full-colorDigital Printing & Smaller Quantities

An online startup company needs a gift for each member of their small (but growing) team. They want to use photo-heavy artwork for the piece, and they want them in a hurry — they can’t wait to get their hands on these books! What do you suggest?


Solution: This is where our full-color products shine! Unlike offset printing, digital printing allows for smaller runs and unique, photographic imagery with many different colors. On top of that, we can print most digital, full-color pieces pretty quickly — win, win! While we can usually get an adequate match for most PMS colors, there are some colors that won’t have the same vibrancy or accuracy in a digital print because digital printing is a 4-color process. This just means the press uses a mix of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) inks, much like your office inkjet printer. You can see the difference in the image above.


To prevent banding (streakiness in the print), avoid artwork with large areas of solid color. If this type of artwork is necessary, consider offset printing, which allows for PMS color matching and consistent color coverage.

The Art of Foil Stamping

When we first opened our doors in the 1970s, the only customization we offered was foil stamping! To this day, foil stamping is our most popular imprinting method, and for good reason. With a unique range of finishes and effects, the results can be stunning! In this post, we’re going to cover some of the basics of foil stamping, so you and your client can reap the benefits of this tried-and-true imprinting method.

How Does It Work?

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Foil stamping is a printing method in which a stamping die transfers a foil to a substrate (in our case, a variety of journals and covers), using a range of heat and pressure.stamping die is a metal plate that is engraved with the artwork to be stamped. These stamping dies are created in-house from your vector artwork, and are used on a foil stamping press or machine. In the machine, the die is heated and the foil is pressed onto the cover, leaving behind a foil imprint (or blind deboss without foil).

Types of Foils


  1. Blind Deboss. This is a hot stamp without foil. It can be very subtle, so it’s great for designs with a lot of coverage. Recommended for oversized imprints, especially ones with smaller detail.
  2. Tint Foil. This foil type prints much like a blind deboss, but uses a clear foil with a slight tint, kind of like the tint on a pair of sunglasses. Recommended for subtle imprints that need a little extra contrast.
  3. Matte Foil. This foil type comes in a variety of colors and has a chalk-like release and a matte/flat finish. Recommended on textured cover materials.
  4. Gloss Foil. This foil type reflects light and has a glossy finish, and comes in a variety of colors. Recommended on smooth, paperboard cover materials.
  5. Satin Metallic Foil. This foil type has a soft metallic sheen and comes in many colors. These foils are super versatile and typically stamp well, so they’re a favorite among customers and our stamping crew!
  6. Shiny Metallic Foil. This foil type has a highly reflective metallic sheen and comes in a variety of colors. These foils also stamp well, so they’re recommended for artwork with more intricate detail.

Tips from the Experts

JB veteran and stamping supervisor, Alan has been working in stamping for 21 years, and his best advice: “Keep images as open and clean as possible to get the best quality imprint.”

Here are a few more tips from the stamping team:

Alan, Stamping Supervisor

  • Text and small details stamp best when they’re in their positive form, rather than inside the negative space of a design.
  • The larger, more solid the coverage of your art, the harder it is for foil to adhere evenly. Keep solid areas in your design as small as possible, especially when choosing textured materials.
  • Because of the amount of heat and pressure required of some jobs, foils may spread. To minimize this, make sure artwork is as large, open, and legible as possible — especially text!
  • Matte and gloss foils are not completely opaque, so keep this in mind when choosing cover material color and texture, because it may show through.
  • When in doubt, we have many alternatives to foil stamping, such as silkscreening or full-color printing with a die-cut window, which can achieve finer details.
  • If you ever have questions about how your logo or design will stamp, you can always send it to us ( for evaluation!