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September 2002
This Month's Tip:
The Elegance of Embossing

When you want to make your printed pieces truly stand out, nothing does the job better than elegant embossing. At Diecrafters, we can perform several types of embossing in almost any shape imaginable.

Embossing Terminology
Embossing is the term for raising paper by pressing it against heated, engraved dies. Debossing yields the opposite effect: the altered paper surface is lowered. It’s important when embossing and debossing to make the distinction between registered and blind. Registered refers to embossing registering to print or foil, while blind embossing stands on its own.

Embossing dies can be produced as single-level or multiple-level, depending on the sophistication of the piece. A combination die allows foil stamping to be applied in conjunction with embossing in one pass. 



Select the proper paper – Paper color, coating, texture and weight all play an important role in the look of an embossed piece. For projects using intricate dies, thick, uncoated paper (at least 100 lb. cover stock) will show the greatest detail in the embossed image. Although many thinner stocks may emboss just fine, they limit the depth of the embossing. 

Provide plenty of information – Creating an accurate die can be very difficult without a detailed representation of what’s being embossed. The best way to do this is to send us a file of the die lines, which will be used to create the die. Every line width should be a minimum of 2 pts., which includes the serifs on any fonts and all artwork. This should be done in advance of the production run to allow for die creation. For multi-level and combination dies, color-coding the various levels in the file will ensure accurate diemaking. In addition, top and side sketches are very useful for conveying the desired look.

Go for brass – Embossing can bring an air of elegance and prestige that will set your printed products apart! For the very best quality, ask for brass dies because they allow you more creativity with your image area. If planned properly, brass dies can be sculptured or milled in exquisite detail to make your pieces come alive!

Ask Diecrafters – Let us help you plan your embossing project from the beginning. If you want to learn more about embossing, please ask us for an information packet that includes planning instructions and several examples.

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