Explanation of the deboss and emboss printing processes.
Debossing and embossing are two techniques used to imprint images onto paper, leather, or vinyl. In embossing, an image is pressed into the material so that the image raises from the surface. Debossing is the opposite of embossing; the area around the image is pressed so that the image is pushed down into the material rather than raised.
To emboss an image, a logo or artwork must be used as a template in order to cut a metal die and a corresponding counter-die. Dies are made of brass, copper, or magnesium. Brass dies are stronger and they will last longer with repeated use. They are used for multi-level and detailed designs, such as an imprint of a human face. Copper, though usually cheaper than brass, will not withstand as many impressions and it will not be as effective for multi-level printing. Magnesium is much weaker than brass and copper, and it is used one time for simple, single-level impressions.
To begin the embossing process, the material is fit between the two dies and a press and heat are used to squeeze the die imprint into the material. The result is a raised and exact copy of the logo or artwork. The embossed area is smooth because the heat and pressure act like an iron.
Embossing can be used with textiles, paper, and non-woven materials such as tissue paper, vinyl or leather padfolios. Color register embossed printing is embossing with the addition of colored ink, and blind embossing is embossing without the addition of ink. Foil stamping can be used in conjunction with embossing, and this process is called combination or combo stamping.
The deboss process is the same as that for embossing, except debossing raises the material around the die impression rather than raising the design area itself. Brass, copper, and magnesium dies are used in the debossing process as well.
There are several debossing techniques. A blind deboss is used with screen-printing or foil stamping. With the screen process, the art or design is first printed onto the material and then the outline of the print is debossed using a die exactly registered to the silk screen print. In foil stamping, the foil is transferred to the material using a special die and then the same die is used to deboss the area. Debossing is less complicated than embossing, and when done in conjunction with silk screen printing, it results in a colorful and more detailed rendering of artwork and lettering.
Debossing and embossing are preferred methods of imprinting onto materials such as leather or vinyl. For promotional gifts on the executive level, debossed and embossed leather or vinyl make elegant reproductions of a company logo or name.
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