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Achieve a distinct look and feel with quality debossed effects.

Debossing requires the same type of metal die as foil blocking, however, unlike embossing, instead of applying enough pressure to push through to the other side of the card stock, only enough pressure is applied to create an indentation on one side of the card stock. Debossing can be combined with foil stamping or left blind (no colour), for a more subtle look. The finished debossed effect is similar to letterpress, except that foil is used rather than ink. Letterpress foil is often more cost effective than letterpress ink and allows for the use of metallic effects. Please keep in mind that, deep debossing can produce a bruise/heat mark on the reverse side of the card stock. For this reason, it produces the best results on thick textured card stocks.


Debossing is a term used to describe the indentation left in card stock by the force of an etched metal die block being stamped into it. As the popularity of letterpress printing increased, debossing has become a much sought-after print feature that is requested constantly at our studio. In printing, debossing can either be blind, which involves creating an impression in card stock without any colour, or it can be combined with foil to created debossed foil effects. These effects work particularly well on natural uncoated card stocks. When the metal die is pressed into the card stock, it compacts the fibres of the card resulting in a smooth sunken finish. If the card stock being used is textured or has a natural finish to it, then the contrast created between the debossing and the surface of the card makes the finish result more visually appealing. As a general rule, debossing both sides of card stock in the same area is not recommended, because the force of the impression of the debossing on the second side will impact the deboss on the first side. At our production studio, we have the facility to duplex (glue) stocks back to back after debossing, which hides bruising and allows for debossed effects on both sides of products such as business cards and invitations. Please bear in mind, when debossing with foil is requested, it will be done at the discretion of our foil technicians. The reason is that too much of a deboss with foil can increase 'bleed' of the foil around the edges or cause 'filling in,' which involves the foil bridging small gaps. This varies depending upon the artwork. Our aim is always to prioritise the quality of finish and find a balance with a good level of debossing. This isn’t the case with blind debossing. Chunky and fairly intricate designs both achieve great results when blind debossed.


The cost for debossing is the same as foil stamping, because much of the process is the same. Etched metal dies still need to be made from your supplied artwork files, and the setup and processing of your order is identical to foil stamping. The only difference is that; we apply some additional force to create more of a debossed finish. If we’re running a blind deboss finish, then the only difference is that no foil is used. The only time debossing will cost more is if the job calls for debossing on both sides of the card stock. This approach requires to run the job slightly differently, so the stock can be duplexed afterwards. This creates a much higher quality finish and hides any bruise marks. Such projects are priced via quotation, and our team will explore the most economical way to produce the project.


The images on the page illustrate examples of the finishes you can achieve when using debossing. One of the most popular card stocks for debossing is 100% Cotton card. The tactile surface and bulk are perfect for debossing, and it’s commonly used for business cards, high-end invitations and swing/hang tags.

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