B-I-O…By Invitation Only.
Embossing – is typically accomplished by applying heat and pressure with male and female dies, usually made of copper or brass, that fit together and squeeze the medium. The medium itself does not necessarily need to be limited to just paper. It can be other materials as well such as tissue, leather, etc. The combination of pressure and heat raises the level of the image higher than the original medium, while “ironing” it to make it smooth. Sometimes you can do embossing without heat, but that would be limited to thin mediums. It also would not produce as crisp an outline as their heated counterparts. The final impression of the design can be seen on both the front and back surfaces in both cases. Whether heat is used or not, the final result is quite a nice tactile effect.
We see embossing in many daily things outside of wedding stationery like a notary republic’s embossed seal to mark legal papers, which can be in a form of an adhesive gold seal, or made by using a clamp-like embossing device, to certify a signature on a document or contract. Some professions like registered professional engineers also use embossing seals to certify their drawings.
Image of Die plates courtesy of www.ncb-marking.co.uk.
Most types of paper can be embossed, and size is not normally an issue. Embossing without ink, so that the image is raised but not colored, is called “blind embossing.” Embossing used in conjunction with ink, so that the raised area is colored, is called “color register embossing.” Embossing used in conjunction with foil stamping (which was discussed in the previous blog post) is called “combination stamping” or “combo stamping.”
Image featuring work that has been foiled stamped as well as embossed courtesy of www.printingforless.com.
Image courtesy blind embossing (which it is only embossing with foil stamping or coloured inking) of www.crane.com.
Embossing involves a separate stage in the production process, after any printing, varnishing and/or laminating. It requires a separate press run, and is priced accordingly. In terms of costs, there is the one time cost for making the female/male dies, then a set up charge for registration to ensure that your design is stamp in a consistent desired location each time, and then most companies will charge per piece stamped.