Skip to main content

What is Blind Embossing?

By March 15, 2023News

The most basic definition of blind embossing is simply printing without ink. Also referred to as debossing, people have been using the blind emboss technique for many hundreds of years, as it provides a way to make a design distinctive and create extra dimensions. It can seem like a very simple and basic technique at first but if you’re going to blind emboss then it’s actually a really versatile tool that can be used on everything, from letterheads and book covers to cement and glue and even with colour. This is what you need to know about blind embossing.

What does blind embossing involve?

When you opt for the blind emboss technique you are essentially creating deep textures into a material like paper by pressing onto it. When this is done, it can result in subtle and dynamic images that have a great degree of flexibility, as they will change depending on how and where they are viewed. If you’re used to simply printing with ink then looking at the options that can be created with a blind emboss technique can open up a whole new world of how to make a real impact.

What are the benefits of working with blind embossing?

It’s a technique that allows you to experiment with the visual impact of your design and create something entirely new and interesting. The process of embossing requires plates – just as inked designs do – but when you’re opting to emboss these plates can involve much deeper and bolder textures. If you’re using something like paper to emboss onto then this is a technique that will allow you to see that material in an entirely new light and create something really unique from such a simple resource. Focusing on shadows and light to create texture and form is an effective way to create a very powerful visual that can change as it is handled, ensuring a memorable impact. It’s also a clean process that doesn’t require any ink so there tends to be a lot less mess involved.

What kind of materials will work for blind embossing?

In theory, you can emboss almost anything. These are some of the things to consider when you’re picking a material to emboss.

  • The thickness of the material. Anything that is too thick can create problems when you’re trying to use it in a press. On the other hand, a material that is too thin – say, less than a millimeter – will make only a subtle indentation.
  • Density is important too. How hard a material is will have an impact on how easy it is to emboss. For example, if you’re using fabric this may be too soft and simply not have the density to impress into.

Some of the tried and tested options to emboss onto include wire and metal, pond liner and lino, paper, cardboard, cement and glue.

If you’re looking to realise distinctive and unique designs on a variety of different materials, opting to emboss could give you a lot more freedom to create.