Embossing Guide

What stands out to you as you’re browsing the bookshelf? In the world of print books, you only have a few seconds to impress potential readers. A great cover design and the right finishing touches can help make that goal attainable.

At CHG, we offer a variety of finishing options that can take your printed book from ordinary to extraordinary, including embossing and debossing. These are post-press techniques that create a three-dimensional area on your book cover, deepening the impact of printed images by adding physical texture.

Embossing Vs. Debossing

After you’ve decided to add embossing to your printed piece, you have two options: embossing or debossing. An embossed image is raised against the background while a deboss is sunken into the substrate. Each technique can be used on its own or together. These techniques can also be combined with other finishing techniques, such as foil stamping and dull/gloss varnish.

Type of Die

Your printer can help you decide the best embossing method for your project. Different dies are used for embossing, each of them offering different dimensions and complexities for your printed piece. The most common die types are single level, beveled, multi-level, and sculptured.

Single Level
Single level changes the paper surface by a single surface and can be used for embossing and debossing. This is the most common type of embossing.

A standard bevel embossing technique produces a chiseled effect. There is also a rounded bevel that can create a softer impression.

Multi-level dies create additional texture by producing different distinct levels. When used with foil stamping, multi-level embossing can bring an image to life.

Sculptured dies are generally hand tooled to include curves, angles, and fine details.

Book cover and dust jacket embellishments such as embossing and debossing can play a crucial role in attracting buyers.  However, not all books are worthy of these unique treatments. It’s important to consider your selling strategies, print budget, and buyers. If you have a project under consideration and would like to speak with one of our production specialists, you can email us at [email protected].

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