MorningPrint Hint: Embossing


Embossing is a great way to add interest to your business cards. Embossing is a finishing technique where a graphic, text etc. is pressed into the paper using two die. one that is raised and one that is recessed. The dies fit into each other so that when the paper is pressed between them, the raised die forces the stock into the recessed die and creates the embossed impression. A specific level of pressure is applied to the dies in order to squeeze the fibers of the paper, which results in a permanently raised area in the paper (*note the backside of the embossing is indented).

Here is what you need to consider regarding embossing. Embossing has two options: Ink Press Embossing / Blind Press Embossing.

What is the difference?

Ink press embossing – The design is first printed / foiled and then the embossing is applied after so that the ink / foiled area is raised

Blind press embossing – Blind embossing does not include the use of ink or foil to highlight the embossed area. The change in the dimensional appearance of the material is the only noticeable difference resulting from the embossing. The blind embossing process provides a clean and distinctive or subtle image on paper stock. It is best used to create a subtle impression or low level of attention to the piece, yet provide some slight form of differentiation for the finished work.


Some considerations:
• The impression of the embossing will depend mainly on your design itself. We do not recommend embossing for thin or delicate details or small fonts.Embossed text tends to look smaller than designed, so we recommend going a couple point sizes larger. Go for a nice bold text and making graphics a bit “fatter” than normal.

•Small detailed areas in embossing tend to get lost, especially on textured stocks (Linen, Scotland)

•  Do not express critical information with blind embossing. This may make it difficult for your client’s to read as there is no ink.

• If your embossing area is larger than 40mm x 20mm (1.57” x 0.79”) it may be considered oversize, however if it is too big and does not allow space for our machines to hold it may not be possible. For example you cannot emboss a pattered background that is fully bled.

• The impress will vary from stock to stock as the stocks come in different weights

• As mentioned previously embossing affects the backside of the card as it leaves an indent, so if you are considering a backside design you want to be very mindful of this.

• Embossing is only available to be applied to one side.

• The margin of error for alignment between the printing and the embossing is 1mm-2mm. Oversized embossing can increases the margin of error between the print and embossing.

So how do you prepare your files to accomplish Embossing?
You will need 4 files:
1. Complete Design Front – this will be the design in total displaying the area for embossing
2. Printing Front – this will be the area for ink to be printed
3. Embossing Front – this will show just the area for embossing denoted in 100% black
4. Printing Back – this will be just the printing area for the back side (*this file is only needed if you will have a backside design)

You want to start by making sure that the document size and color mode of each file are correct.

You will want to set your document size to : 3.62” x 2.05”
Color Mode: CMYK
DPI: At least 300 dpi

file set up

You want to make sure to set up your guide lines:

Trim Size = 90mm x 50mm (3.54″ x 1.97″)

Safe Zone = 86mm x 46mm (3.38″ x 1.81″)


Remember the guidelines are for your reference. Be sure to delete them prior to submitting you file through the website.

Ink press embossing file prepBlind press embossing file prep

You will notice in both examples the embossing area does not exceed the standard embossing size 4omm x 20mm (1.57″ x 0.79″)

embossing size

If your foiling or embossing option is larger than 40mm x 20mm (this is considered oversize), please consider the following:

Our Machines need space to hold two corners of the card at 3mm from the trim line / 5mm from the document size.

You will also need to select the “oversized embossing” option during the check out process.


So there you go! All of our tips for creating a business card with embossing! Let the creativity begin! Print responsibly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s