Embossing / Foil Stamping

Embossing images requires creating a die — charges vary with size

Save money by discussing the design early in the planning process. Oftentimes, what you imagine will work doesn’t.

Multi-layered embossing can add beauty, but will require a sculpted die

A budget estimate for a sculpted die should be requested early in the design process. Sculpted dies can be expensive.

Embossed images generally look best on textured stock

Smooth paper surfaces do not allow for the contrast of the background to the embossed area. Thicker paper shows off the embossed area at a greater advantage than thinner papers.

A printed image can be embossed

A registered emboss is a technique where the printed image is embossed. The embossed appearance is lost on all colors of medium to dark values. Only colors of lighter shades that allow shadows to be seen will appear to be embossed.

Consider what is on the reverse side of an embossed image

Images that are blind embossed on plain paper are seen because of the highlights and shadows that are cast from the shape of the embossed area. Remember, there also will be highlights and shadows on the back side of the sheet.

Foil stamping requires creating a die — charges vary with size

The rich look of foil stamping is created by using heat and pressure. To achieve the greatest effect, the image should not be too small or delicate, nor have large solids with fine lines reversing out.

Poor spacing of the foil stamped image on the sheet will cause excessive waste of material and increase costs. Additionally, consider the pattern of the foil to optimize cost efficiency.

Also consider color and reflective qualities of the foil when choosing paper texture and color of surrounding ink colors. It is also important to consider the thickness of paper to eliminate the image on the opposing side of the paper.

For best reproductions, a foil stamped image should not be too small or complex

Images have to be large and bold enough to allow the reshaping of the paper fibers under heated pressure.

See also:

Drilling/Die Cutting

Binding and Finishing

Printing Resources

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