The present invention relates to a printing method, in particular
a method for printing texts and/or decorations by transferring, onto a print substrate,
a printing material in a lamina or thin layer, or in any case a material which
is transferable onto the print substrate.
The prior art includes printing methods in which a material in a lamina
or a thin layer is transferred with heat and under pressure onto a print substrate
and which envisage the use of punches on Which the texts or decorations to be
printed are produced in relief. The printing material in a lamina or thin sheet,
carried by a flexible substrate, is interposed between the punch and the print
substrate and is hot pressed by the punch onto said print substrate, in such a
way that the printing material is transferred onto the surface of the print substrate
at the points corresponding to the texts and/or decorations on the punch.
Another known technique is to transfer with heat and under pressize
a material in a lamina or thin layer onto a print substrate, using a screen printing
method, which involves reproducing the required text and/or decorative motif by
screen printing onto the print substrate, by means of an adhesive material, and
transferring onto the print substrate, with heat and under pressure, the material
in a lamina or thin layer by means of a flat or cylindrical press, by pressing
the above-mentioned material against the surface of the print substrate. The material
adheres to the print substrate only in the areas previously treated with the adhesive
The above-mentioned methods are unable to produce high image definition,
which is particularly unsatisfactory if complex and high-quality decorations are
required. Furthermore, in the case of printing with punches, the action of the
punch can easily damage the surface of the print substrate and the printing can
easily smudge, resulting in a low-quality finished product.
The present invention aims to solve the above-mentioned problems.
The present invention envisages a printing method comprising printing
a written text and/or decorations on a print substrate, applying onto the surface
of said print substrate a transferable means capable of being transferred onto
said print substrate, characterised by the fact that it further comprises impressing
said text and/or decorations onto said surface by means of a printing method other
than screen printing and applying said transferable means onto the areas of said
surface onto which said text and/or decorations have been impressed. The invention
allows a vary high image definition to be obtained resulting in vary high-quality
The invention will now be described in greater detail purely by way
The invention involves impressing a text and/or decorations onto a
print substrate, using appropriate printing inks, by means of a printing method
other than screen printing which allows high image definition to be obtained, such
as rotogravure, lithography, off-set, letter set, digital or other. The print substrate
may consist, for example, of paper, parchment, leather, fabric, plastic material
or any other material capable of permitting printing impression on its surface.
Printing may be carried out using a printing product suitable for the printing
procedure used, for example printing ink, toner, etc, but it is also possible to
use an adhesive material or any other substance that can be applied by means of
a printing method that can give high image definition and is capable of guaranteeing
adhesion onto it of material, in particular said transferable means. The transferable
means is now applied onto the surface of the print substrate. The material adheres
to the surface of the print substrate only in the areas covered by the printed
text and/or decorations, thereby obtaining, on the surface of the print substrate,
a text and/or decorations which have a surface with extremely uniform reflectivity
and very high image definition.
In the case of printing with more than one colour, the method according
to the invention allows the transferable means to be applied only to the areas
on which the last colour has been printed, after the other colours have dried.
Before applying the transferable means, it may be advantageous to
spread on the surface of the print substrate, using a screen-printing screen or
a rotating element, a solvent compatible with the type of material used for making
the print which will not damage the surface of the print substrate nor leave traces
of any kind on it. In the areas of the surface of the print substrate to which
the material used for printing has adhered, the solvent revives any material that
has dried, in such a way that the exposed surface of the material can again permit
adhesion onto it of material in a lamina or thin layer. This technique is particularly
useful when it is expected that a sufficient length of time will elapse between
making the print and applying the material in a lamina or thin layer for the print
to be able to partially or totally dry out.
As a transferable means for application, it is possible to use, purely
by way of example and without constituting limitations, materials in a lamina or
thin layer, transfers, decals, holographs, signature holograms, etc. A suitable
material in a lamina, for example, is a material of the type marketed by the German
company L. Kurz GmbH & Co. under the brand names LUXOR and ALUFIN.
The transferable means may be applied with heat and under pressure
by means of a flat or cylindrical printing press. Alternatively, the transferable
means may be applied by way of deposition of vapours of said means on the surface
of the print substrate. The vapours deposited on said surface will adhere only
in the areas which have previously undergone printing, thereby covering the print
with a substantially uniform layer.
In this case a suitable transferable means may be a metallic material
or a colouring, such as a pastel or fluorescent colouring, and in any case a vaporisable
The method according to the invention can also be used in combination
with the other known methods quoted above for application of material in a lamina
or thin layer, for example when it is necessary to print on a print substrate both
prints with high image definition and prints not requiring high image definition.
In addition, the method according to the invention may be used to
obtain warranty means, such as, for instance, warranty seals comprising a graphic
element, for instance a mark, obtained using said printing method, said mark warranting,
for instance, the origin and the quality of a product, on which the warranty seal
may be applied. In order to obtain warranty seals, the method according to the
invention may be combined with the use of holograms, chalcographic printing, printing
using inks capable of emitting a radiation in a pre-established wavelength range,
for instance a radiation in visible or ultraviolet range. The use of the printing
method according to the invention makes very difficult and uneconomic to counterfeit
a warranty seal, because the use of a material in a lamina or thin layer applied
on the printing support of the seal makes substantially impossible a counterfeit
by means of photography or using a photocopying-machine. In fact the presence of
the material in a lamina or thin layer makes very easy to distinguish, even simply
to the touch, the original seal from a counterfeited seal obtained by means of
photographic reproduction or by means of a photocopying-machine. In addition, it
is possible to use materials in a lamina or thin layer which are expansive, so
as to make uneconomical a counterfeit of the seal by using said materials and the
printing method according to the invention.
Finally, it is possible to use check devices to verify the authenticity
of the warranty seal obtained using the method according to the invention, alone
or in combination with other methods.
For the same reasons explained above, the printing method according
to the invention is particularly suitable, even in combination with other printing
methods for obtaining paper money which is very difficult to be counterfeited.
In the practical implementation, the stages of the method, the construction
details and the materials used may differ from but be technically equivalent to
those indicated, without departing from the scope of the present invention.