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Thursday, Nov 23 2017
  Samples & Guides \\ Industry Articles
 

We have gathered some of the better articles related to our niche for your viewing. These articles will give you a better understanding of some of the processes and operations we perform.


 
 

Article Index

Embossing Information

Embossing foil stamping, and diecutting are important and popular graphic arts processes. I have seen the demand for these three dimensional letterpress enhancements increase steadily in the last few decades but stamping and embossing were in use long before movable type was invented. The Chinese used engraved wooden blocks seven centuries before the advent of letterpress printing. Archeologists have found embossed coins of copper, silver and gold that pre date the Greek and Roman empires. Insignia rings, simple hand wrought dies, were used to press an image into wax for identification and tamper proofing. Long before the invention of the mechanical press, leather book covers were decorated with hand stamping, gilding and hand painting, many of which are now museum and library treasures.

From simple beginnings, this industry has advanced so far and so quickly that it's hard for one person do keep up with the varieties of paper, sheet metal, Plastiq Poi polyester, coating texture, hundreds, if not thousands, of foil finishes, colors, shades, and hues, and the list goes on! With so much variety, every job is a custom finish. Your best insurance for achieving high quality and avoiding costly mistakes is to develop an understanding of the variables of each process through your own experience, study, and experimentation, and certainly by asking for advice and sharing your experience and "tricks of the trade" with other craftspeople

One of your best sources for embossing information is the Foil Stamping and Embossing Association. FSEA provides educational literature, technical help, and industry resource information including a list of consultants and experts in management and supervision. In addition, they host annual seminars.

Every job, from the simplest to the most challenging, will benefit from attention to the basics, particularly understanding the desired process outcomes.

Embossing is the process of creating raised (relief) designs on a substrate such as paper, plastic, thin metal, or other kinds of stock on which there may or may not be a preprinted ink or foil image. The embossing is accomplished by placing a substrate between an etched or sculpted metal die (female) and a matching counter die (male). These dies are mounted on a press that exerts enough pressure on the substrate placed between the dies to press the image into the chosen stock, quite literally reforming the fibers of the substrate. 'Ibis is generally accomplished using heat transferred from the press to the platen through the die, but can also be performed without heat in what is referred to as "cold embossing."

Debossing is the same process, but the dies are produced in reverse of the above to create an image that is lowered or indented into the substrate.

Foil Embossing is creating a reliefimage and simultaneously applying foil using a die specially produced for this combination process.

Blind Embossing/Debossing is creating the relief without any ink or foil decoration.

Membrane Embossing is creating a raised or lowered image on an especially durable substrate such as polyester or polycarbonate for overlay switches and other commercial applications.

The variety of materials and finishes available to produce any job gives you lots of choices to offer your customers. It can also give you lots of headaches in figuring out how to make it all come out right when you mix elements of each particular job. For instance, the finish of a paper, or its weight, might not be compatible with the depth or bevel edges of the die, causing the paper to pull, stick, crack, or shear, or at least, an unevenly distributed impression. Although you may have used the same shallow embossing die with good results on both 24# letterhead and 80# business cards, generally speaking there aren't any sure or consistent formulas on which you can rely. When you get into more complex jobs, it is much more difficult to know how the combinations of press, substrate, dies, inks, foils, and even operator experience will interact.

My suggestion is to start each job by communicating and working with everyone involved in layout,


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