Thermography is a less-costly form of printing that simulates engraving. Resin-based powders are applied to damp inks and passed under a heating element causing the powder to raise and bake onto the paper. Thermography inks tend to be shinier and less opaque than engraving inks, but the process does produce a raised image.
While thermography is an attractively priced alternative to engraving and letterpress, it does have its limitations. Certain resin-based inks tend to melt under high heat. If you intend to use run your letterhead paper through a laser printer, make sure that your thermography inks have a NIP (Non-Impact-Printer) finish. A NIP finish will normally protect your inks from melting except under the most extreme heat. Also, some printing companies now offer a matte-finish to reduce the shininess of thermography inks. We strongly recommend requesting a matte-finish for all thermography inks, particularly black.
Thermography is cost-effective way to simulate engraving. While it does not quite have the vibrancy and opaqueness of engraving, it is a useful substitute and often a better alternative than lithography.