Embossing is the procedure by which the paper surface is pushed outward using heat and a metal embossing die to cause a raised image.
There are different types of embossing that can be done. Registered Emboss is the embossed image area registers with printed ink or foil. This gives the area a raised look. Blind Emboss is one which is not stamped over a printed image or foil. The color of the embossed image is the same as the color of the paper. It is one of the least expensive ways to enhance the look and feel of any paper surface.
There are a few things that need to be attended to with an embossing project. The metal dies to be used, the paper stock to be embossed, the creation of the artwork and the embossing details.
There are three types of metals used for embossing dies. Depending on the shape of the image, the texture to be created and the length of the run will decide the selection of the metal. Magnesium dies are very soft and used for simple embossing projects that have short runs. Brass dies are the most popular embossing dies as they are very flexible and give the embosser leeway to create fine lines and sculptured images. Copper dies are used as an in-between to magnesium and brass. The copper dies are more stable, last longer and won’t stretch when used with heat . . . but does make it the most expensive type of die.
Paper textures play an important role in embossing. Sometimes our customers select a texture paper and we use embossing to smooth out the paper where it embossed to help it to contrast from the texture. At other times a smooth paper is used but the emboss is textured for a stunning finish. Heavy, long fibered sheets make the best kind of paper for embossing. Lightweight, heavy coated or varnished papers are not so good for embossing because they crack easily. Recycled papers are to be avoided for embossing as the more processed a paper, the weaker it becomes and cannot withstand the pressures of embossing. The depth and the degree of bevel achieved are determined by the stock. A thicker stock can offer more dramatic embossing effects because the impression can push deeper into the paper and varying levels of relief become possible.
It is very important to keep the following things in mind when preparing art for embossing.
• Avoid too many fine details and tiny criss cross lines. Keep the design uncluttered and bold.
• When using lettering, use sans serif fonts and space them so that there is enough space between each letter to allow for the embossing effect.
• Increase the size of the art slightly to compensate for the added dimension.
• For multi level embossing it is best to use color codes to indicate the various levels.
• Keep the image area at least .25 inches away from the edge of an oversized sheet to avoid puckering or wrinkling. If the embossing is being done on a finished project, keep a .5 margin.
Whichever process you choose to use, come in and we can help you decide which would work best for you.
The images above left is blind embossing. The image on the right is printed, foiled and both are embossed.