When using techniques called embossing and debossing a portion of a sheet of paper is stretched with a combination of heat and pressure between a male and female die are applied to paper to create to a new raised shape in embossing or lowered during debossing. The image selected for this technique can be simple or complex. An emboss can be single level, multi-level or sculptured. It can have straight edges or beveled edges. Dies are often made of copper or magnesium but for complicated images and techniques brass dies are frequently used. The creation of brass dies involves more time and greater costs than standard dies but they allow for a multi-level or sculptured emboss to be executed successfully.
[Photo Credit: withassociates Note: We did not print what's in this photo. This is for example purposes only.]
To use Emboss or Deboss Techniques, here are some tips:
- Single level embosses are frequently used for type, live art or a simple shape.
- Multi-level emboss contains several distinct levels of the same image.
- The most complicated emboss is the sculptured emboss which has many levels and can be hand tooled to produce images in the round . Dies are priced by the complexity of the work needed to create the die and are often priced by the individual work needed for that particular die.
- Blind emboss is a technique where no inks or foils play a part and a heated die creates a 2 toned-level effect on the paper.
- Registered emboss simply means that ink or foil applied to the paper in has the emboss registered or exactly lined up with the foil or the ink.
Deboss is the reverse process of emboss. Where the surface of the paper is raised in embossing in debossing it is lowered.
To use Emboss or Deboss techniques, you first need to choose:
- A heavier weight paper.
- Uncoated works best but coated papers can be embossed/debossed.
- Art work should be supplied as line art and color coded overlays or a tightly marked up laser with color coding should indicate the levels required for the die maker.
- Edges should be clean and crisp.
- Image and non image areas need to be indicated.
- Small type or light faced type should be avoided.
- Edge treatment straight or beveled should be specified.
- Enough space needs to left between images and images need to be kept away from the edge of the sheet.
- Consider using paper with cotton content to get the maximum lift for your design.
You evaluate your emboss or deboss with a strike proof of the die. When you are looking at the proof you will want to check to see that the image looks the way you want it to. That there are no scorch marks on the paper, no wrinkles, cracking, pin holes or tears around the die strike. Once you have something you like your project is ready to proceed.