Embossing and Debossing

Embossing and debossing are popular printing techniques that can create an eye-catching visual on your printed products.

Embossing and debossing are most frequently found on products where a luxury or professional look is the desired outcome – for example, business stationery, certificates, invitations etc. You can also use embossed or debossed areas to add extra security detailing to your documentation or event tickets. 

Embossing on print

How do you emboss paper?

We create two dies of the area you’d like to be embossed – be this text or image. One will contain a raised version of the text / graphic and one will have a recessed version. Your printed product is placed between the two dies and heat and pressure are applied. The end result is that your desired pattern / text will be raised on one side of the paper and recessed on the other – forming an embossed side and a debossed side. 

Types of embossing

Blind Embossing

Blind embossing is used to describe a raised but unprinted area. This provides a noticeable but subtle contrast without the use of any ink or foil and is able to cope with fairly small detail.

Registered Embossing

Embossing is used in conjunction with print, foil or spot UV varnish (or several of these). A second embossed area can also be used to provide even more contrast.

Combination Embossing

An image is printed, foiled or applied in spot UV and the embossing is aligned to the image so that the printed image is stamped out. This method is particularly suited to text and simple images.

How do you add debossing to paper?

As with embossing – two metal dies are created. The only difference in the process is that the dies are the opposite way round – creating a recessed image on the front side of your printed product. As with embossing, you can leave your debossed part plain or you can add ink / foiling etc. 

embossing debossing

Points to consider before embossing and debossing

Artwork suitable for embossing 

Vector files are best for this process as they can easily be scaled up or down without loss of quality. We’d recommend keeping your artwork relatively simple – allow embossing and debossing to provide all the wow factor you need. We’d also recommend that you avoid shading and where possible keep to a single colour so that the embossing isn’t lost in the print. 

Picking your embossed areas

Use embossing sparingly to get the maximum visual impact. You can add embossing to virtual any part of your design  – you might prefer an all-over effect or just highlight certain elements, like your logo or business name. 

Paper weights suitable for embossing

Deep embossing won’t work on small areas as paper can tear. You’ll need your paper stock to be thick enough to allow for the embossed (or debossed) depth without losing tensile strength. We’d always recommend a heavier paper weight (gsm) for embossed or debossed designs. If you’re in doubt, simply get in touch with one of our friendly team – we’d be happy to assist! 

Consider the reverse

Remember that embossing and debossing are permanent, and will leave the inverse image on the other side of your design – it’s best that you don’t have any crucial design elements that can be affected by this. 

If you have any further questions about embossing or debossing then call us on 023 8087 8037 or email us.

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