What’s the Difference Between Embossing and Debossing Really?
Embossing and debossing seem to be two terms that tend to bleed together. Both are artistic preferences for printing on custom boxes, sure, but what is the difference exactly? And when should each technique be used?
Both techniques use custom dies of various materials (most often magnesium, copper, or brass). These dies use combinations of heat and pressure to form the image or custom lettering for packaging pieces. Additionally, both embossing and debossing make for a textured brand that can be felt. So far they sound pretty similar, right? So what separates them?
Embossing and Debossing: The Dividing Line
Admittedly, the difference between embossing and debossing is pretty subtle. When embossing a custom packaging, the “background” is depressed. It’s not as sad as it sounds. Basically, you’re taking the letter or your custom logo design and making it stand out–literally! The relieved backdrop becomes the canvas, much like how a body of water might bolster an island. Make it pop.
If you want to get technical, debossing is the opposite of embossing. Although similar, debossing is the more traditional form of impact printing. With this process, a heated template stamps the lettering into the packaging, making a concave impression. This technique can either be blind, where the impression is colored in by its own shadow and depth, or registered, where it is filled in with some kind of ink. Of course, when you get into the realm of registered debossing, you also have to mention….
Ha! The twist ending you never saw coming. Well, maybe you did. Foil stamping is a form of registered debossing where a shimmering foil is pressed into the lettering for a stunning and unique presentation. Metallic lettering on a stark background is often more eye-catching than even the most wild of graphics.
Whatever your packaging project–a high end presentation box with turned edges and tuck tabs, or an custom easel binder with thermoformed trays–embossing and debossing, along with foil stamping, can be added to most custom box designs. But (if you couldn’t tell from the above info) there are plenty of variables involved. When you’re considering those make-or-break details, it’s important to check with the experts. Minnesota’s own Sunrise Packaging should definitely your go-to for all your custom boxing needs.