V. Ryan © 2004

Embossing involves raising areas of a card surface above the level of the rest. The diagram below shows a coat of arms that has been embossed on green card. The images stands out from the card as it has been produced by a stamp which presses the card to the correct shape. This process adds cost to the printing process but gives the card a 3D effect.

Alongside the embossed version is the same coat of arms printed in colour, on paper – note the difference. Embossing usually doubles the cost of normal printing as it takes place after processes such as colour, printing and varnishing have been completed.
Normally a small area of a package may be embossed, so that it stands out. Manufacturers use embossing to make their product look more luxurious and expensive.


A good example of simple embossing can be seen below. A letter with a coat of arms is to be sent to a number of important people. To make the letter look and feel more important the coat of arms is to be embossed. This means that the coat of arms must stand out from the surface of the card / special paper.

A special embossing tool has been made with the shape of the coat of arms engraved on its base. The embossing tool is aligned with the printed coat of arms and the mallet is then used to strongly tap the embossing tool. The material underneath the letter is rubber so that the ‘blow’ from the mallet / embossing tool is absorbed and yet allows the embossed area of the paper to stand out from the rest of the papers surface.

During the use of the embossing tool, the paper is reversed so that the blow is to the back of the crest of arms.

If many copies of the same embossed paper was needed, automatic printing machines can be used. These will print the coat of arms and any text and then emboss the specified area. Thousands of copies can be produced accurately.

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