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Publication numberUS3912842 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date14 Oct 1975
Filing date20 Feb 1973
Priority date20 Feb 1973
Also published asCA1005228A, CA1005228A1, DE2406761A1
Publication numberUS 3912842 A, US 3912842A, US-A-3912842, US3912842 A, US3912842A
InventorsSwartz William M
Original AssigneeSwartz William M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Article of manufacture
US 3912842 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

' United States Patent 1191 Swartz 1 1 Oct. 14, 1975 ARTICLE OF MANUFACTURE 221 Filed: Feb. 20, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 333,537

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1968 Groshelm et l6l/DIG. 3 l l 1969 Hotter 12/1971 Swartz l6l/4l3 Primary ExaminerMayer Weinblatt Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Morris Spector [57] ABSTRACT A paper-backed shiny aluminum foil provides a base for forming a printed design. The printing on the mirror-like surface is by successive imprints, at least some of which are transparent. In some places on the sheet all of the successive printed designs are transparent. There is a transparent over-coating on at least parts of the printed design which is so related to the subjacent transparent imprints that incident light will pass through it and through the subjacent designs to be reflected backby the mirror-like metallic surface. This printed foil is then laminated to one side of a fiberboard backing the opposite side of which is treated to make it moisture impervious. The assembly is then embossed in register with the printed design.

3 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures us. Patent ot.14,1975 3,912,842

PICTURE t JOCL' ARTICLE OF MANUFACTURE PRINCIPLES OF THE INVENTION For many years there has been an increasing demand for reproducing by mass production methods handcrafted multi-material, multi-piece-part articles for use as decorative panels, advertising displays, and appliance fronts. As the cost of wood and metal, and especially labor, has increased, the necessity to replace them by low cost methods and material has become more urgent. Concomitant with the desire to achieve low cost reproduction has been the increasing necessity to achieve an ever greater degree of realism or reproduction far beyond the range available by prosaic methods. Because the ultimate user is becoming ever more sophisticated, it is vitally important to provide ultimate realism with respect to such factors as appetite appeal, skin tones, hair coloring, woodgrain, cloth, metal, etc.

This invention relates to the use of the various printing arts combined with the art of embossing (embossing are here used includes debossing) to produce inexpensively and in quantity surface designs that create, to a high degree, the appearance of reality and intrinsic value of the article reproduced. There are many importam-differences between viewing a three dimensional object and viewing a flat, color reproduction of the same. To the extent that these differences can be reduced by embossing and otherwise treating a flat printed design, the illusion of reality may be approached. To the extent that the differences remain, their effects can be counteracted by giving the observer other clues with respect to the real article by way of the eye or by way of feel. The clues are impressions that the observer has previously learned to associate with the object that cause the observer to impart three dimensional characteristics to the printed design. The needed clues may be a series, each of which is alone of no great significiance, but which together produce the desired impact on the mind of the observer. One of these clues is changing shadows." A moving observer of a three dimensional object sees changing shadows or highlights, changes that are absent when viewing a flat picture of the object. The effects of the changes in shadows are a subconscious clue that the object viewed is three dimensional. This clue can be recreated on a flat print by proper embossing of the printed surface being viewed. To accentuate the apparent magnitude of the changes in the shadows seen by a moving observer of the embossed surface it is desirable to reduce or eliminate non-changing shadows that may be present. In other situations real object surfaces have a texture and finish (i.e.: dull, glossy) that, associated with the proper color effects, produce an appetite appeal that cannot be reproduced by color effects alone. In each of these instances the moving eye of an observer sees changing contrasts when viewing the real objects. When viewing a picture, the absence of these changing contrasts dispels the illusion of reality. The combination of a pictorial reproduction of the object with embossing, with an overcoating that is clear and preferably colorless, and which has a high surface luster, and with spot coating of differing lusters, can produce the changing contrasts in the mind of a moving observer to furnish to the mind the clues of reality. The effect of limited depth of an embossing or bas-relief can be magnified by color contrasts, properly placed shadows,

shimmering reflections and the like. Further, many real objects incorporate metallic parts with their distinctive mirror like and metallic luster. Liquids also exhibit peculiar metallic-like reflections in addition to their basic high gloss wetness." Neither of these metal or liquid effects can be reproduced in a manner approaching reality by printing on a flat white substrate. Wood exhibits several characteristics which must be accurately reproduced to provide the feeling of reality. In addition to the color, the surface gloss or dullness, the raising and depressing of the grain lines and the feel of the surface are necessary to transmit the impression of reality.

Realism, reality, meatallic mirror-like qualities, are inter-dependent and trigger a certain kind of recall in the mind of the beholder. The impact of combining clues to create'an impression of reality is synergistic in that combinations of clues lead the mind to presume the presence of other clues, and thus behold a total effect that is greater than the effect of the individual clues.

THE DRAWING In the accompanying drawing:

FIG. 1 is a broken away front view of a portion of a sheet that is used with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a section taken along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the sheet of FIG. I, with a part of a drawing thereon;

FIG. 4 is an exploded sectional view of a portion of the drawing of FIG. 3 when embodied in a completed product;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3 showing one type of embossing;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 66 of FIG. 3 showing another type of embossing;

FIG. 7 is a front view of a modified construction;

FIG. 8 is a rear view of FIG. 7; and

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the structure of FIG. 7.

DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 shows a sheet 1 comprising a base sheet of bleached sulfate paper 2 over which is an aluminum foil sheet 3 laminated, as by a coating of glue or other adhesive 4. The foil sheet 3 is exceedingly thin, say of the order of 0.002 inches. The paper 2 is substantially thicker than the foil, for instance, a thickness of 0.006 inches. The laminate l is sufficiently thin and flexible to pass through the rollers of conventional printing machines. The paper backing 2 is provided to facilitate handling and prevent kinking of the very thin aluminum foil 3. The entire exposed surface of the aluminum foil has a mirror-like surface having a high metallic luster. It is coated with a protective lacquer or the like which, upon drying or otherwise, leaves an inkreceptive clear colorless imperforate film 6. The exposed surface of the foil 3 is the color of silver. If a different color is desired, that surface is then overlaid with a transparent coating 8 of lacquer or the like of the desired color. A yellow coating 8 changes the appearance of the exposed surface of the sheet 3 to a lustrous gold color. I

The desired art printing is then applied to the surface of the coated sheet I for producing a desired color transparency of a product, copy and layout. By way of example, four color screened positive color separations of the transparency are made by conventional methods for lithography to full size. From these, a positive for white is made so that white ink may be printed over those areas of the clear coating 6 that are not to be metallic. While most of the white positive is solid, certain areas may provide a white half tone. These areas of white are determined in accordance with the particular finished designs and effects desired.

A keyline drawing 10 is made from the positives which provide the guide for engraving of a female embossing die which is made to register exactly with the printed image. A male die is also made. An artistic determination is made with respect to depth of various embossed areas, with respect to which areas are to be embossed and debossed, and with respect to the surface finish of the various areas of the die, i.e., polish, rough, stipple, etc.

The design 10 is printed by lithography on the exposed surface of the prepared sheet 1. It is printed in successive'passes through a lithograph press with the white color printed first in two applications, and with the remaining colors printed in a pre-determined sequence. the white ink is specially formulated with a very high white pigment content. The color inks are formulated to be either opaque or transparent as desired in the ultimate design. Since the lithographic system requires oil based inks as opposed to solvent based inks, the transparent inks must be made with pigments as opposed to dye colors, and as a result of the opacity of the pigment particles the transparent inks are in fact actually translucent. The successive printed designs differ from one another with respect to transparency, or opacity, or color, or appearance of the texture, or-kind of ink used, or thickness of application of the ink. In some of the areas all of the superposed designs are transparent. In some areas an opaque finish is desired. It is desirable that the transparent impressions be made first and the opaque impressions later.

Some of the successive passes through the lithographic press may leave the design 10 with a patchquilt-like effect as to accentuate different surface textures portrayed by the picture. For instance special applications may be necessary by a printing operation 12 to bring out the texture of human hair as indicated at 22, or for producing an effect as required by the texture of the fabric at 25, or to produce a specially desired skin color effect at 23, or the sparkle of a jewel at 24, or the effects of coldness of the glass 25 in the picture. The patchquilt effect is one of the last applications of the design on the prepared sheet 1, one of the last of the printing operations.

The peculiar luster that metal typically exhibits is reduced by the previous application of the translucent inks. In many instances it is desired to recover some, and often a maximum, of the lost characteristic metallic luster. This recovery is obtained by the subsequent application of a transparent top coating 13 after the last printing operation. This coating is so related to the subjacent transparent or semi-transparent imprints that incident light will pass through the interfaces between it and its subjacent printed designs, in those areas wherein all of the subjacent designs are transparent or semi-transparent, and such light will be reflected back by the mirror-like surface. The completely opaque areas may be formed before or after the application of the hereinafter mentioned top coating 12.

After all of the printing operations have been com-- pleted the sheet is subjected to the top coat 13. This top coat is applied by a roller, or is silk screened in place, to a thickness many, many times as thick as that of the printing inks used, often as much as 50 times that thickness, or more. The top coat is a transparent polyethylene, methacrylate or a polyester lacquer. It produces a shininess that enhances the appearance of the surface of the thus printed laminated sheet 1. The peculiar luster that metal typically exhibits is reduced by the application of the translucent lithographing ink. This luster is recovered to a large degree by the'transparent top coat, so that those areas which are to reproduce the metallic luster effects of the actual object do so to an enhanced effect. The top coating also protects the surface from abrasion. Subsequent coatings of a dulling agent may be applied in certain specific areas to affect surface finish, gloss or dullness, and transparency. These spot coatings would normally be applied by silk screen. The sheet may then be cured in an oven.

The printed sheet 1 is then laminated to a fiberboard sheet 16 as by a layer of adhesive 17. The board 16 is of the order of 0.07 inches thick. It is composed primarily of kraft fibers with a resin binder. The fibers may be what are known as long fibers, prepondering fiber lengths being greater than 1 inch. The binder is a water-proofing resin to inhibit absorption of atmospheric moisture by the kraft fibers. A sheet of imperforate aluminum foil 18 is laminated on the backside of the fiberboard sheet 16. The adhesive used in laminating the sheets 1 and 18 on the board 16 is one that will permit relative sliding that takes place at the interfaces of the laminate during the subsequent embossing operations.

The foil sheets on the opposite sides of the board 16 seal the board against the escape of moisture therefrom and thus eliminate or inhibit the drying action which might produce warpage. The aluminum foils on opposite sides of the board 16 may be of the same thickness so that they will be equally effective in resisting warpage in one direction or the other to the extent that any tendency toward warpage may occur.

The laminated, printed, coated board is then die cut into the final outline of the finished piece or pieces and the individual pieces are embossed on a mechanical embossing press by male and female dies in register with the printed design shown. The embossing in some or in all of the areas may be micro-embossing as shown at 19', that is embossing to a very slight depth but'at a sufficiently steep angle to be clearly discernable, or it may be deep embossing, that is embossing to a depth in excess of one-eighth of an inch as shown at 19.

If the ultimate product is to have designs on both sides of the fiberboard, the aluminum sheet 18 may be omitted, and a sheet 1' used in place thereof. The sheet 1 is subjected to the printing processes above described in connection with the printing of sheet 1. The printed matter on the two foil sheets may be identical but one being a reverse or mirror image of the other except, of course, in the case of printed words or the like. The sheets 1 and 1' would then be laminated to the fiberboard 16 in such a manner that the designs on the sheets 1 and l' are in register in those instances where such registration is desirable.

When an article, such as a display has, on both sides thereof, registering designs as above set forth, and is embossed so that on one side of the embossing the design is concave as at 19 in FIG. 5, and on the other side it is convex, and such a display is mounted to be seen first from one side and then from the other, as for instance when the design is mounted to rotate, a distinctly noticeable illusion is produced. For instance assume that the picture represents a cylindrical object as a glass of water. On one side the convex embossing, together with the printed picture, produces an illusion of the body of a glass projecting forwardly of the sheet for the full radius of curvature of the glass, even though the actual forward embossing is only a minor fraction of an inch. Viewed from the other side where the debossed picture is actually concave, there is still an illusion of thickness as though the glass were actually projecting outwardly of the plane of the sheet. Such illusions, viewed successively attract attention, a highly desired function in advertising. Likewise, if the registering pictures on the two sides of the display are direction oriented, as from left to right when viewed from one side of the sheet, it will be oriented from right to left when viewed from the other side of the sheet. This also can be utilized in the advertising field for attracting attention.

What I consider to be new, and desire to secure by Letters Patent are:

1. An article of manufacture comprising a foil having a shiny mirror-like ink receptive surface, a printed design on said surface, a second foil having a design thereon which includes portions that are mirror images of and substantially the same size as the design portions of the first foil, the two foils being laminated on opposite surfaces of a fiberboard backing with corresponding above named design portions on the two foils in register with each other, said laminate being embossed on one side and debossed on the other side at said registering design portions, said embossing and debossing being in registration with one another and one being a counterpart of the other.

2. An article of claim 1 wherein said foils form vapor seals for said opposite surfaces of the article.

3. An article of manufacture comprising a foil having a mirror-like reflecting surface, said foil being laminated to a supporting backing, a base coating of translucent ink over the mirror-like surface, colored printing on the base coating, the printing pigment being pervious to light to permit external light to pass therethrough and through the base coating to the reflecting surface and be reflected therefrom back through the base coating and the printing, and a transparent ink coating overlaying the colored printing and of a thickness many times as great as the thickness of the printing and the base coating.

Patent Citations
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US3373068 *16 Nov 196612 Mar 1968Formica CorpProcess for preparing an embossed laminate
US3480500 *24 May 196525 Nov 1969American Greetings CorpProcesses for making debossed decorative metal foil
US3625810 *28 May 19707 Dec 1971William M SwartzDisplay laminate
Referenced by
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US4138515 *29 Mar 19766 Feb 1979Dial Emily CGeometric iridescent image
US4370377 *5 Dec 198025 Jan 1983Koninklijke Emballage Industrie Van Leer B.V.Metallized labels for containers
US4499127 *20 Jul 198112 Feb 1985Jones William APicture-backing foil with depressions and coloring materials therein
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U.S. Classification428/172, 156/220, 428/213, 427/276, 428/207
International ClassificationB44F1/10, B41M3/00, B44C3/08, B44C3/00, B44F1/00, B44F1/04
Cooperative ClassificationB44F1/04, B44F1/10, B44C3/08
European ClassificationB44C3/08, B44F1/04, B44F1/10