Embossing is a process where a metal stamp is pressed against a piece of paper to create a raised impression on it. It’s traditionally seen on business stationery, especially as embossed business cards where it’s used as a way to add impact to the print and give it a high class look and feel. However, in recent times, it’s been adopted as another effective tool in the designers toolbox, being used more creatively to produce a wider range of subtler effects.
How it’s Done
The embossing process takes place as a separate stage after the print and varnishing. A brass or magnesium die is created in the shape required and is carefully aligned with the area to be stamped. It’s then forced onto the paper, often with a pressure of several tons, to leave its stamped impression in relief on the reverse side of the card.
There are other similar and less common techniques available, such as multi-level embossing to add more depth to the relief, or debossing which recesses the card (kind of a reverse embossing).
When embossing is used without ink, it’s called blind embossing. But it’s more commonly used with ink or metallic foils on the raised area which can really add to the impact.
It’s tricky to give an idea of price because that’s very much dependent on the number of items to be embossed, the type of items and the complexity of the die. But as a rule of thumb, a run of 500 embossed business cards with a single embossing on it will add around £200-300 to the cost of the job. But with a business card still being a key tool for self and business promotion, the increase in cost can be a worthwhile investment.