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STAND OUT! How to use Embossing in your Printed Materials

What is embossing?

Blind embossing sample Blind embossing example
Embossing is the process of using male and female etched dies (typically made of magnesium, brass or copper) and heat to raise or push letters or a design above the surface of a sheet of paper; it creates an eye-catching three-dimensional effect. The embossing die is made with a reversed image of the design. When this process creates an indented image, it is known as debossing. Computer controlled milling machines or hand sculptured engraving are used to convert the graphic image to the metal embossing die.
A good example of paper embossing that many of us have seen (and felt) is a notarized document. Embossed printing pieces can be used without ink or foil (known as blind embossing), or with ink or foil such as gold, silver or many other colors, adding another distinctive and visually appealing element to the embossed piece.

Embossing Techniques or Die Styles

Embossing is available in a number of different die styles, each having a distinct appearance and optimal use based on what type of element is being embossed.
  • Round dies produce an image that is curved at the edges.
  • Flat dies produce a straight edge good for embossed type or hard shapes.
  • Sculptured dies produce an almost 3D appearance using multiple layers.
  • Bevelled dies create sloped sides that are good for deep embossed effects.

How to use Embossing

Embossing is a technique that's perfect for adding a touch of class and individuality to your printed piece. It works well on many types of printing products, including:
  • Business cards
  • Letterhead and envelopes
  • Presentation folders
  • Postcards and Rack Cards
  • Brochures
  • Invitations
  • Certificates
  • Greeting Cards
foil stamping with embossing
Embossing with foil stamping
Many elements and images in your design can be embossed, including text. The most effective embossed pieces use a detailed die and heavier paper stock to highlight the depth and detail of the embossed graphics or images.
Also, with the addition of colored metallic foil stamping as shown in this image, the emboss really stands out, both literally and visually. It is a great way to draw out and highlight important details, such as names, designs or logos. A combination embossing die and foil stamping die is needed for this process.
Watch the video of our Kluge embossing machine in action:
Embossed printing is an elegant way to add a unique look and feel to your marketing piece.
Considering how many pieces of mail, business cards and other printed materials your target audience gets each day and at every tradeshow and convention, this special touch can make all the difference in your piece getting noticed. Embossed business cards can make a lasting impression.
Add custom embossing to your marketing practices to stand up and out from the crowd and stop your customers in their tracks.
Need technical or creative advice on your embossed printing project?
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