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Embossing vs Debossing – Best for Packaging and Printing

By January 18, 2023January 19th, 2023News

Embossing and debossing are both techniques that can be used to ensure that your packaging really stands out from the crowd. Perhaps you’ve heard both of these terms used at some point but you’re not sure which is likely to be the right one for you. Here, you’ll find more information on embossing and debossing so that you can easily work out which is likely to work best.

How does embossing work with packaging?

The technique of embossing essentially raises an element up from your packaging – this is often used for a logo or a business name. This is achieved by creating a metal plate (a die) that has the design that you want to emboss on it. The metal die is then pressed into the packaging from the underneath, which creates the raised end result of embossing. It’s important to note that this is not the same as raised ink printing, it’s about creating a textural, raised up version of the design. Because the dies that are used in the embossing process are incredibly durable they can be used again and again to create unique packaging that highlights a crucial element of the design. There are lots of benefits to using embossing in packaging design, including that it tends to send a message of quality and luxury. It can also be integrated alongside other processes, such as hot foiling, in order to create an even more unique and effective end result.

How does debossing work?

Embossing and debossing are basically the opposite process to each other. So, the same type of metal plates can be used to create the design. However, this time, rather than the plates being applied from underneath to raise up the design, they are pressed down onto the packaging material. This creates a depression in the shape of the design. Debossing tends to be a much more minimalistic approach to packaging design and it’s not as widely used as embossing. However, it is incredibly unique and some of the sleekest brands out there use debossing as part of their brand marketing.

What do you need to consider with embossing and debossing?

  • Artwork needs to be in a vector format. In a vector format your design can be resized without any loss of quality. So, it can be used on anything, from a small sticker to a large poster.
  • Simple designs are the most effective. The more complex the image, the more likely it will be distorted.
  • Choose a section to emboss. You don’t need to emboss an entire design (e.g. a whole logo) in order to make it effective – sometimes choosing a single section of the design works better.
  • There are lots of ways to make your design even more unique. For example, customising the dies so that the embossing and debossing look several layers deep, instead of just one.

Whether you opt for embossing or debossing, these are both great techniques for making your packaging and printing designs stand out.

Contact Metallic Elephant to discuss how we can turn your packaging and printing into premium quality.