Laser cutting, used in the right way, can produce beautifully intricate results. Perhaps highlight a finely cut, clean crisp edge to a sculpture, business card, or simply a segment of a book. Engraving is also a technique that can be achieved by a laser cutting machine, allowing smooth, graceful lines and shapes to be carved into a surface. This week we highlight the work of new People of Print Member, Laser Bureau. This talented team specialises in laser cutting paper, engraving, perforating and can also offer a hand finishing service.
Not just paper and card
With their sister company, Cutture, they finish work for established brands such as Harrods, Molton Brown and Ferrari, producing stationery for incredible events and functions. What they find most exciting about their work is the variation of different tasks they do on a day to day basis. “We can go from making large-scale pieces for point of sale and exhibitions to intricate tags and place cards for events” says LB.
All in the details.
With an ever-growing demand for laser cut elements for packaging, particularly luxury cartons where you need to add that extra bit flair or interest to really set your product apart from the competition is astonishing. In addition, laser-cut finishing on brochures and book covers is also another avenue that is becoming more popular, with every project adopting a more interesting and creative approach in how they use such a technique. Their eye is always on quality, and we can’t wait to see the new exciting project they take on this year.
Specialist wedding and event stationery designers Cutture collaborated with Emmy London to create a wedding stationery collection including invitations, menu covers, table numbers and place cards.
Emmy London is a recognised luxury lifestyle brand, focussing on bridal & event shoes. The British design house ensures intricate detailing and immaculate finishes come through in everything they do.
The brief to Laser Bureau was to faithfully recreate one of Emmy London’s signature designs and ensure it presents as a luxury stationery suite, reflecting the high quality and flawless detail expected from both Cutture and Emmy London. Both companies are passionate about using traditional manufacturing processes and wanted the same for the stationery collection.
Helen Sharland, Co-founder, Cutture said: “We took a classic Emmy London design, the ‘Cinderella’ shoe, and Emmy re-sketched it so that our designers could make it laser-ready. We knew laser cutting would make the design pop, but we also wanted to include a lot of detail and bring in a metallic shade and knew that foiling was the best way to achieve this. The combination of the two processes would produce the right look but are ultimately traditional, something important to both us and to Emmy.”
No room for error.
Chris Demott, Managing Director, Laser Bureau said: “The design was extremely detailed and incorporated both laser cutting and hot foiling, so the first challenge was to place each element perfectly. There was no room for error and a combination of experience and carefully planned prototypes gave us what we needed. The second challenge was to ensure no laser burn; with a pale background and an intricate pattern, this would have been very obvious and affected the overall quality. As a specialist laser cutter, overcoming this is a key part of the service we offer and we were really pleased with overall appearance of the collection.”
Sharland continues: “The final collection is beautiful and reflects Emmy’s designs in every way. The concept we designed and asked for was what materialised in front of us, and the elements we knew could be a challenge, to the extent where we were aware the design may need to change, were overcome professionally and quickly.”
Laser Bureau specialises in laser cutting paper. The company, which is based in Sharnbrook, Befordshire, and has a sister business called Cutture, based in London, can engrave, perforate and namecut – it also offers a hand finishing service. According to Laser Bureau managing director, Chris Demott, the company’s “eye is always on quality”. This quest to be the best is reflected in the company’s client list, which includes the likes of Harrods, Molton Brown and Ferrari.
“Our work is varied which is a really exciting challenge; we can go from making large-scale pieces for point-of-sale and exhibitions, to intricate tags and place cards for events,” says Demott.
He adds that the company receives more and more requests to laser cut elements for packaging – and particularly luxury cartons that require that little bit of extra flair to set products apart from the competition. Another growing area of business is brochures and book covers. Demott says that as these get more creative “laser cutting is now a viable option due to the higher volumes we can now produce with our equipment”.
Laser Bureau uses two different types of laser cutter. “We have cabinet lasers from Trotec – these are laser plotters,” says Demott. “The cabinet lasers are really flexible and although we specialise in cutting paper and card they will happily cut and engrave other materials like acrylic and wood.”
More recently the company has invested in a high-speed digital Galvo laser cutter sold by Motioncutter, which is significantly quicker than the Trotecs, according to Demott.
Eye catching details.
“The Motioncutter is ideal for cutting paper and card and the control you have to refine your cut is amazing. As the name suggests they also cut in motion, so with a traditional feeder you can load in a pallet of paper and, using either sheet or print detection, laser cut much larger volumes than previously possible because you don’t need to hand feed.”
He adds that a key attraction of the Motioncutter is how relatively straightforward it is to incorporate numbering and personalisation into laser cut designs. “Every invitation or magazine cover, for instance, can now have a guest’s or client’s name cut out, that really has the wow factor,” explains Demott. “Another feature of laser cutters that are probably the most under utilised and the thing that still surprises me every time we do it is you can laser kiss cut. We produce adhesive-backed labels for some clients and the complexity of cut is impressive, but the fact that you can adjust the laser so it doesn’t cut all the way through the backing sheet makes them really easy to peel and apply.”
He adds that in addition to cutting the company also offers alternatives to other finishes – for example, adding a laser crease or perforation. “It means we are becoming an option for short run work that would usually be die-cut, saving on tooling costs. You can also push the designs further than you can with die-cutting, adding extra detail or text that would normally not be possible with a forme.”
Demott says there are lots of different options when it comes to laser cutting technology and the investment outlay need not be huge – especially if someone wants to use the equipment for prototyping or very short-run work.
“The thing to remember is many businesses choose to work with a specialist laser cutting service because ultimately it involves cutting paper with fire. To do this safely requires specialist knowledge and training. To do it quickly and as cleanly as possible requires a much larger investment in equipment,” says Demott.
Every copy unique.
WHAT WE DO
We cut, engrave, perforate and namecut paper, card and a host of other materials to give you high quality output for you or your clients. We also offer a finishing service - after all, we know better than anyone how your components should look and work when put together - meaning we can complete your items under one roof, saving time and cost.
We are one of the few companies in the UK to use a Motioncutter; a high speed digital galvo laser cutter which produces clean, high quality, precision work. We also have a series of flatbed machines. The different machines have different strengths which means we can produce the best results whatever the requirement.
We cater for all sizes of jobs, from short runs through to production runs in the 100,000’s.
Our machinery is fully automated and sheet-fed with the ability to print reference in a matter of milliseconds, meaning jobs that have traditionally needed long lead times can be completed much faster
When you need to make an impression.
WHO WE ARE
The Laser Bureau team has a specialist background in laser cutting and printing with more years’ experience than we’d like to think about for too long, but it does mean that we know our stuff.
We are based in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire and have a national client base, including Harrods, Molton Brown and Ferrari and, with our sister company Cutture, we have created event installations and stationery for a huge variety of businesses.
Our work is varied, which is a really exciting challenge. We can go from making large-scale pieces for point of sale and exhibitions, to intricate tags and place cards for events. We get more and more requests to laser cut elements for packaging, particularly luxury cartons to add that extra bit of flair or interest to really set your product apart from the competition. Also, as finishing on brochure and book covers gets more creative, laser cutting is now a viable option due to the higher volumes we can now produce with our equipment .
Hand finishing, it's all in the little details.
We consider our customers our partners. We listen. We respect deadlines. We meet expectations, and where we can exceed them, we do.
Our focus is on quality. We have a meticulous and skilled production team who are adept in finding new ways to achieve excellence so we can produce the best work for you.