Embossing, De-bossing and Hot Foiling ... a light relief or blinded by technique?

Embossing, De-bossing and Hot Foiling ... a light relief or blinded by technique?

At The Business Card Store we have a fantastic range of finishes and paper types. We get a lot of enquiries for Embossing, De-Bossing, Foil Stamping and Hot Foiling. All these techniques are very different and offer unique finishes. In this article we aim to clarify those differences in "Layman's Terms".

1. What is Embossing? Embossing is when an area of the page is raised in relief. The writing/image stands proud on the page, which in turn leaves an inverted pattern on the reverse of the card as the die is pushed up and through the back of the card. You may have heard the term "Blind Embossing" and this is when there's no print on the Embossed area (as per the "Blush" sample below). You can Emboss over the top of a printed area, but this can lead to registration and alignment issues if there's even the slightest movement on the printing press or at the Embossing stage. If we are to Emboss an area that's already been printed then it's best to call us first so we can talk you through your artwork specification to maximise the effect you are wanting to achieve.

2. What is De-Bossing? If you have read chapter 1 about Embossing, then you probably have a good idea of what a deboss is! In our experience, De-Bossing is more popular than Embossing. When we de-boss we push down into the card/paper in order to stamp a selected area. As this isn't being punched through from front to back, it means we can adjust the amount of pressure applied to the side being de-bossed so it doesn't show through on the reverse side in relief. Again, this can be "Blind De-Bossed" (pictured below) or over-printed and the same issues may arise unless the artwork has been adjusted accordingly.

3. What is Foil Blocking? "Foil Blocking" and "Hot Foil Stamping". I'm sure you've heard these terms before and here's a brief explanation of exactly what they are. Foil Blocking and Hot Foil Stamping are one in the same thing. Both refer to the application of a Foil (metallic or non-metallic) onto paper or card to specific area highlighting a logo or bringing a peice of text to life. A wide range of colours are available in gloss, matt and metallic finishes. Foiling can be done on paper or card of any weight. The best results for Foiling are produced on Plastic (PVC) Business Card or smooth finishes, but it still works well on uncoated and fiborous papers.


If you need any more information please feel free to email or call us and we'd be happy to take the time to talk you through any of our processes and find a solution that really works for you.

We'll be back soon with another jargon busting article!



Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.