Paper Matters Blog
Embossed Designs Make Quite the Impression

When it comes to print techniques, current technology provides loads of options to choose from: metallic inks, foil stamping, letterpress, die-cut, UV coatings, soft touch finishes – the list goes on and on. While offset and digital printing are tried and true methods for graphic communication, in my opinion, nothing makes an impression quite like a blind embossed design.

Is it due to the fact that one technique can say so much without ever actually printing a drop of ink? I’m not sure, for me it’s all about the feel. I say if you really want to make an impression, literally and figuratively, embossing is the technique to try.

embossed design - Tiffany & Co.

While I’ve certainly seen my share of over the top print production, when it comes to an embossed design I think less is more. In its broadest sense, embossing is imparting a design on a surface so that it stands out.

To create a raised impression two dies come in contact with the surface of the paper under high pressure. The raised area can have ink or foil applied or left alone (known as a blind emboss).

Embossing does require investing in a die, but the expense is minimal compared to the results it yields. Dies can be sculpted as single-level, multilevel, sculptured or with beveled edges to create multi-dimensional designs.

cougar embossed design

Like many print techniques, embossing is better suited to some papers than others. I think the best results come from using an uncoated stock in a moderate cover weight. The warm, tactile feel of the uncoated paper compliments the richness of embossing, producing an amazing result.

Used as a design element, embossing can really differentiate a brand or product. Embossed design is an especially effective technique for retail, beckoning the consumer to physically touch the packaging. Turns out it is in this act of holding a package that our brains make the leap to perceived ownership, and the chance of making a sales greatly increases.

Embossing Best Practices

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