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What is embossing? Everything you need to know

Gofrado o impresión en estampación.

Like letterpress printing, the embossing process in printing uses bespoke dies to create the raised paper according to the design. The opposite effect is also possible using the same process, known as embossing. As stamping is introduced into the paper, it can be used to emulate engraving.

The die is a set of two pieces of custom metal plates created based on the image or text to be engraved.

One of the die pieces has the surface of the design embossed and the other has the same design recessed into it. To create the design on the paper, the paper is pressed between them and heated. The combination of pressure and heat reshapes the paper fibres.

The die can be single or multi-level, depending on the level of detail, complexity or desired height or depth of the design.

What types of stamping or embossing are there?

Blind stamping

This is the use of the embossing process in printing without the use of any other print finishing embellishment. One way to make the blind stamping stand out even more is to use textured paper, as the area around the embossing will be pressed smoothly, creating more contrast.

Combined stamping

As the name suggests, this type of die combines several effects in a single process. Usually, because the processes are similar, foil and stamping or embossing are applied together using this type of die. With this combined effect, the entire embossed area is laminated.

Registered stamping

Similar to combined stamping, it combines embossing with another print finishing embellishment, such as ink, foil, foil stamping, die-cutting or even another embossed element.

Single-level foil stamping

This process uses a die that changes the surface of the paper on a single level. As the die required for this type of stamping is simple, it is the most affordable embossing option.

Multilevel stamping

Example of embossing with multi-level embossing.

This embossing process uses a die with different levels to create a more sculptural print or a more detailed relief texture.

Sculptural die

This type of die requires custom hand machining to create levels and details for a relief that resembles a bas-relief sculpture. Because this requires someone to create it by hand, usually based on a provided image, this is a more expensive method of stamping.

Textured die

To create this effect, a die is made with an engraved texture. It differs from a multi-level or sculpted die in that it is a single-level die with added details, such as a simple drawing.

Bevelled-edge die

This type of die is also a single-level die with a bevelled edge. Deep dies must use bevelled edges to prevent the paper from being damaged during the embossing process. The bevel added by this type of die is usually 30 to 60 degrees.

Chisel die

This type of die is V-shaped, like a chisel, and is also known as a roof die. It is most often used in embossing.

Rounded die

This type of die-cut creates a rounded or domed effect. It is often used for company logos or other typographic designs.

Why choose embossing for your print jobs?

The texture and superior quality that embossing creates enhances the aesthetics of our product both to the eye and to the touch. Including an embossed area on your business card, event invitation or even packaging will certainly help to attract attention and provide a much more professional and creative image.

While stamping may add extra cost to your print job, it will also give it elegance and appeal that is not easily achieved with the usual printing processes.

On what kind of materials can embossing be used?

The three-dimensional effect created by the embossing process in printing can be used on many materials. In addition to paper, it can be used on other substrates such as fabric, leather, metal, acrylic and wood.


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