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Embossing

From: Print Production Fundamentals

Video: Embossing

Some visual effects simply can't be accomplished with ink alone, for example, spot varnishes can add shine or a matte finish to a specific area of a piece, and that can highlight an important graphic. For example, this piece has a high-gloss furnish highlighting the wheel, but it also has a special aqueous finish called soft touch covering tire image. Now it may just look like a matte varnish on camera, but it feels like velvet. It's very hard to put down, you sort of want to petit. But think of what a great way that is to engage a customer. They are much more likely to keep such a piece because of the novelty. I promise you this is not going in the trash.

Embossing

Some visual effects simply can't be accomplished with ink alone, for example, spot varnishes can add shine or a matte finish to a specific area of a piece, and that can highlight an important graphic. For example, this piece has a high-gloss furnish highlighting the wheel, but it also has a special aqueous finish called soft touch covering tire image. Now it may just look like a matte varnish on camera, but it feels like velvet. It's very hard to put down, you sort of want to petit. But think of what a great way that is to engage a customer. They are much more likely to keep such a piece because of the novelty. I promise you this is not going in the trash.

Now Embossing can add wonderful depth to a printed piece. The Embossing process uses pear-shaped dies, some pressure and sometimes heat to create the special effects. Embossing creates a ray shape on the top surface of the piece, debossing results in a concave shape, so it's pushed into the surface of the paper. In essence, the paper is molded into a paper sculpture by being pressed between those two pieces of metal, and this makes for a very textural piece. Now not all printers perform such special finishing operations in-house, so your project might go out to a third-party supplier for that part of the job.

If that's the case, your printer will probably introduce you to a customer service rep at the finishing facility so that you can keep up the conversation. Now here are some general considerations for embossing. Thicker stock as you might expect can support more embossing depth. Fine detail can be a bit of a challenge, but you should always follow your printer's guidelines when you're creating artwork that's going to be used in embossing. You should usually keep them embossed areas away from the edge of the sheet, it might pucker a little bit. So if you stay, quarter of an inch to half an inch away, you are usually safe, but your printer of the specialty finishing house can advise you.

Now if the embossing is going to be multilevel, that means it's more sculptural in nature, you'll have to create a separate layer for each level and label it accordingly, and it should always be vector art. You've to keep in mind that creating and testing that die requires some lead time. So work with the printer or the finishing house and make sure you understand the impact of that on your overall deadline. You really should tackle this aspect of a project as early as possible in the life of the job, because the use of any specialty finishing process can have an impact both on your choice of stock and on your deadline.

Now when you hear the term foil stamping you may just think of metallic enhancements. And of course it's true that foil stamping can add a metallic coating to an area, but it's not limited to that. Foil stamping can also be used to apply opaque white to dark stock and even iridescent or holographic areas to paper. Embossing and Foil Stamping combined can make for some really stunning effects. When you're preparing for foil stamping, you should keep a few things in mind. A foil usually can't go over coating such as varnishes. Blisteringly may result, and in fact some coated papers can present the same problem.

If you are using a textured stock, you should note that foils result in a smooth surface. Although this could actually be pretty cool, it could be a nice contrast with textured stock. Registering foil to an existing design, whether it's the printed part of the design or some embossing, it can be a bit challenging. You should usually avoid fine type. Now if the finished piece is going to be run through a laser printer, in other words, you're creating letterhead, you should test to make sure that the heat of the printer's fuser doesn't cause the foil the bubbler or pucker up. Of course that would ruin the look of the piece, but it could also gum up your laser printer.

Varnishing and foils and embossing can greatly enhance a printing job. As you might expect, a lot of planning and testing can go into the creation of the piece that utilizes these special finishing processes, and the cost of such finishes can certainly add up. But the stunning results are certainly worth it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Print Production Fundamentals
Print Production Fundamentals

68 video lessons · 23469 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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