Should You Emboss or Deboss your Next Print Job
When it comes to printing, there is a lot more to know than if you want your prints to be in color or black and white. In fact, there are so many different choices that the average person could never hope to guess them all. So, what advantage does this give you? Not only can you bring your vision to life exactly as you’ve imagined it, but you can also ensure your next print job is one that people will definitely remember!
Introduction to embossing and debossing
Embossing and debossing are exact opposites, but either way, your print job will be taken to the next level by deciding to employ one of these tactics. Put simply, embossing is when you create a 3D graphic that is raised up from the paper. Debossing, meanwhile, is when you depress a design onto the paper.
Which one is right for you? Read on to find out!
Understanding embossing: What is it and how does it work?
Embossing—or raising the surface of something—takes the design you’d like and pops it out from the surface. This process can be used on several different things, including paper, napkins, keychains, etc.
The process of embossing something is time and labor intensive. You begin with two plates: one to push whichever design you’ve chosen from the back, and another one to form the design on the front of the page.
Be aware that because it takes two plates to emboss something, it will naturally cost more than debossing, which only uses one plate.
Understanding debossing: What is it and how does it work?
Debossing uses one plate to press a design onto the front of your paper, etc. The resulting design will be recessed—or sunken—into the material. Again, this can be used on a wide variety of materials, including paper, silicone wristbands, purses, etc.
Because it only requires one plate rather than two, debossing is a cheaper option. Debossing also works best when you need your final result to have a permanent look to it.
Although it will cost more money to deboss or emboss your material, debossing is the most cost-effective option of the two.
The pros and cons of embossing
As with any other printing process, there are several pros and cons of choosing to emboss something. First up, the pros:
1. Easily applies foil printing
Are you looking to transfer foil to your printouts? Well, doing so with embossing is—by far—the easier choice. Your foil design will transfer easily to the embossed—or raised—sections of the printout, and it won’t affect the rest of the page.
2. Your design will leap at viewers
Embossing naturally means the results will stand out, literally. Because embossing raises the design from the page, it creates a 3D effect. Doing this on a smaller format such as a business card will really draw attention.
3. Even the finest details will be transferred
If you need every single curve and line to be easily discernable, you’ll want to choose embossing. Debossing doesn’t offer this level of detail.
Now, let’s take a look at the cons:
1. The overlapping area is hard to control
The gray balance is impossible to guarantee, and this can lead to overlapping. Doing a smaller print job makes it easier to get your embossing to look right on every single page.
2. Embossing can lead to uneven ink color
Again, the process of embossing works better on a smaller print run. The larger the run you try to make, the higher the odds are that you’ll end up with uneven ink color.
The pros and cons of debossing
Debossing also naturally comes with pros and cons. Review the following list before you make your final decision.
1. The back of the material will usually be unaffected
It depends on what type of cardstock material you use, but for the most part, you won’t have to worry about debossing affecting the back of the material.
2. It’s less expensive than embossing
When it comes down to it, most people will select debossing simply because it’s cheaper. Using one plate instead of two makes a big difference.
3. If you want depth, choose debossing
Whereas embossing makes your design pop out, debossing sets it deeply into the material.
4. Ink is easier to apply
When you want to ink the debossed or embossed area, it makes sense to choose debossing. That’s because it’s much easier to apply ink to items that are debossed.
1. Finer details may not transfer correctly
If your design has a lot of finer details and curves, it may not all transfer correctly. Debossing works best with a more simplistic design.
2. It won’t work on some materials
Debossing uses a lot of heat to make its mark, which means it’s not compatible with all materials. For example, you won’t be able to deboss fabric or plastic materials. Embossing, meanwhile, works well on practically any type of material.
Factors to consider when choosing between embossing and debossing
Choosing to emboss or deboss your next print job takes knowledge of how they both work. Now that you have this knowledge, it’s time to determine which option works best for you.
Choose to emboss if you want to:
- Apply foil printing.
- Create a 3D effect.
- Transfer several lines and/or curves.
- Use a wide range of different materials.
Choose to deboss if you want to:
- Make sure the back of your page won’t be affected.
- Save some money.
- Apply lots of ink.
- Create visual depth.
Emboss or deboss effect: Which one is for you?
Deciding to deboss or emboss something may seem like a difficult choice, but once you’ve selected the purpose of your print project, it will become a whole lot easier. After all, there are some things that will make the choice for you, including your budget, the type of material you wish to print on, and whether you prefer a raised 3D effect or a lot of visual depth.
Either way, Sheer Print Solutions can provide you with the ideal final project. Our New York City team has worked for people across the United States for more than 35 years, so you know you’re going to get fantastic results! Contact us for a free quote today, and if you’re still unsure whether you prefer embossing or debossing, we can help you make the right decision.
About The Author
Craig Sheer is the owner of Sheer Print Solutions, located in New York City & Portchester, NY. We are the proven leader for affordable, high-quality Digital and Offset, and Large Format Printing in NYC. Sheer Printing Solutions is your single source for solutions to all your printing, binding, warehousing and fulfillment needs.