Embossing and Debossing
A male and female die is used in combination with heat and pressure to form a raised image (emboss) or a recessed image (deboss). Dies can be single level, multi-level, sculptured or beveled.
A few tips when specifying embossing:
- It is important to note if ink is to be applied to the embossed or debossed image, or if it is a "blind" emboss or deboss (no ink on or touching the emboss area).
- Paper must be specified prior to making the die.
- Finished embossing will appear to be slightly smaller than the original art.
- Letterspace type more than normal to allow room for the die bevel.
- Artwork should be vector line art (i.e., Illustrator) rather than a raster (pixel) image.
- Art for multi-level dies should be created in Illustrator with separate color-coded levels. Each die level should be on a separate layer in the file.
- Provide a laser proof of the die art, and mark each layer: "paper level", "1 level above paper" or "1 level below paper" etc.
- A multi-level or gradually-curved die on thick stock will give the maximum impression.
- Multi-level embossing or debossing requires a brass die.
- Don't use thin rule weights; 2-point rules or thicker are optimum.
- Paper may wrinkle if embossed images are placed too close to the edge.
- Avoid borders near folds, or the piece may not fold in the right place.
- A cross-grain emboss may cause buckling.