What is “Debossing”? Debossing is a process by which a metal block or die is pressure-stamped into the surface of your work, leaving a permanent sunken impression of the design. It is a simple yet versatile way of creating a shallow, sunken impression in the surface of a soft material such as paper, card, or leather. To impart the impression a metal die is pressed flat into the surface under the pressure of a press.
Debossing is ideal for titling work or creating small areas of pattern or text on a cover or page. The impression created is “blind,” with no print or ink, it’s simply a sunken area matching your artwork. It is possible to create sunken areas that are printed, but this requires you to print first, then deboss precisely over the printed area, which is often very difficult to do without a special equipment.
A debossed impression creates a shallow, clean-lined imprint in you chosen surface. There is a limit to the amount of flat surface area that can be imprinted. Debossing larger areas requires a press capable of delivering a lot of direct pressure. The softer your surface, the deeper the debossing can be. The ideal surface is one with a little bit of give, but not too much, such as a book cloth over grayboard.
Debossing dies are created commercially either from computer generated artwork (text or line) or directly from clean, clear line drawings. The best results comes from artwork with thin-ner rather than fatter lines of letters. The artwork is scanned photographically and output to film. The film is then used to transfer the image onto a metal plate, which is acid-etched to create the die. The image is turned back to front during this process so that the resulting die will read backward this creates the impression that is the right way around.
We often do debossing on business cards, book covers, book jackets and invitation cards…the list goes on. Debossing can really make a sheet of paper “stand out!” Debossing besides being readily seen can be immediately felt. I’ve been impressed for years by the high percentage of people who see “debossed” paper of whatever kind & they can’t resist touching it.
Debossing when compared to other “surface effects” for paper such as engraving, spot UV, ap-pliqué, etc…is often very cost effective.
- Raised effect
- Greatly enhances perceived value of paper product
- High-quality white paper or card for creating your artwork
- Case-bound cover, for example book cloth over grayboard
Factors To Consider
- Certain types of paper (only a few) do not “deboss” effectively
- Testing is highly recommended