Embossing is soft and subtle and creates a tactile impact without the use of any colour. It requires two custom-made plates that fit into each other with precision, so that when the paper is pressed between them, the raised plate forces the stock into the recessed plate. The results are a beautiful permanently raised area that’s hard to resist running your fingers over.
While embossing is available on a variety of stocks, we recommend using a mid-to-light paper colour so that the shadows of the embossing can help with legibility.
So, you're thrilled with the results of your Embossing, there's a few essentials to get right.
Getting the format right every time
We can only print from PDF files. Make sure your PDF is high resolution or ‘print ready’. Please supply all artwork at the correct size and make sure your design is sized in mm, programs like Canva default to pixels (px) which is very different!!
If you have more than one process (eg digital + Embossing) then please supply a 3 page PDF...
- Page 1 - everything in your design that is to be digitally printed only
- Page 2 - everything in your design that will be Embossed only
- Page 3 - what your design looks like with both (a mock up)
All artwork for Embossing MUST be supplied as CMYK 100% black - C:0 M:0 Y:0 K:100 (or #000000 if designing in Canva). This is because the software to make the negatives which are exposed to make the Embossing plate and block can only recognise black.
If you're not sure about CMYK check out this quick link... Why set up my artwork in CMYK and not RGB?
Minimum Stroke/line width
Embossing is most suitable for hero items like names, larger florals or patterns for instance. It’s not recommended for small text as legibility can be an issue.
When lines are too thin (or the negative space between lines is too small) then they may not form properly on the block, leaving these elements off the page or creating a raised blob that is missing detail.
All line weights (including fonts) should be a minimum of 1pt point or thicker for Embossing. If you're designing in Illustrator or Indesign then a good way to check is to draw a line, set it to 1pt stroke, and compare it to any lines you’re unsure of.
If you're designing in Canva, it's a little harder to check your line width/weight with accuracy. The smallest font size we can emboss is 12pt for most fonts. For better results we recommend 15pt or larger
Artwork that’s a bitmap (an image) or created in Photoshop is not suitable for Embossing. The elements in your design must be vector graphics to create the Embossing plate and block.
If you're not sure please click here for more information on Vector and Bitmap files.
As we create Embossing using magnesium blocks we can't Emboss designs with variable data (you'd need a block for every name!!) So if you have variable data you'll need to create a design and order Embossing + Digital printing. Your variable data can be digitally printed.
Top Tips from the Printery Peeps
- Embossing can be the hero of your design and so bold font choices, capital letters and Sans Serif typefaces are very successful.
- You can also use Embossing as a pattern or a design element like a simple flower. Remember if the design is too small it may be too subtle and a bit underwhelming.
- Embossing is usually paired with digital printing or foiling for smaller areas of text where legibility, and information is important.
- If you’re thinking about combining embossing with digital printing, remember that there’s a small amount of movement with the digital printing (up to 2mm). Don’t design the digital artwork to meet embossed elements at exact points or have tight registration between embossing and digital due to this movement.
- Take a look at our Instagram to see the kind of designs that we Emboss for inspiration.
- We highly recommend emailing a PDF of the design that you’re wanting to be Embossed to The Printery in advance of placing the order, as your order won’t proceed until artwork has been checked and approved.
Correctly supplied designs mean we won’t need to come back to you, which might cause annoying delays. After placing your order, if your design needs adjustment to make it suitable there may be a charge for any changes required.
If you're in any doubt whether your artwork is suitable for Embossing, and to check it meets our guidelines submit your design and our Customer Happiness Managers will let you know ASAP if there's any issues to fix or you're good to place your order.