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.
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.
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.