Embossed Business Cards

A client recently asked me to do a business card design with an emboss effect on the back side.
Never did one with embossing - so what to consider? (adobe illustrator)

Are you referring to actual embossing or just an embossed effect of some kind that’s printed onto the card? Real embossing involves a die that deforms and stretches the paper into the shape of the die. There’s no way to confine it to just the back of the card since it affects both sides.

Hey B
Thanks. I mean real embossing.
Yes the front side get’s debossed, so no text or whatsoever in that area on the front side.
The client just want’s to emboss the logo on the back side. Just wonder how to prepare the files in illustrator.
Does it matter if some elements of the logo are really thin (thin lines)?
Thanks in advance.

Yes, but lots depends on the paper stock and what the company you have in mind says they can do. It also depends on the depth of the embossing. A shallow impression can tolerate a thinner line than a deeper one since the paper doesn’t need to stretch as much before it tears. Keeping the shapes simple and thick is safest, but it’s always best to check with the printer or engraving company first to show them the artwork. And probably obvious, but it needs to be black and white artwork (no grays).

So the front of the card is going to have the logo reversed.
Seems kinda silly.

I probably need to increase the width of the lines then…
Sorry - really no colors? The logo consists of simple shapes - I can use black but client wants to keep 2-3 shades of blue.
edit : Sorry stupid question, I can use colors probably but I need to mark where printer needs to stretch the paper - that’s the part that needs to be black?

In dealing with embossing in the past I would agree with what Just-B noted. Also I would recommend showing the printer the parts of the art that will need to be embossed. I normally create a separate spot color and label it “Emboss” so that the printer knows exactly what needs to be embossed. If the lines are too thin the printer may recommend that either you don’t emboss or increase the thickness to compensate for the loss from the impression.

Some companies may print first before striking the embossing dye. Your registration may vary.
You have to ask.

We always printed and then did the embossing. But yep it never hurts to ask first.

Hey PrintDriver
you should see what the logo looks like now. It was nice until I did revisions, now it looks like a disaster :rofl:

I’m a little confused. Let’s say someone handed me this business card, then I proceeded to slip it into my card holder. Should I place the front facing out?

Well, yes, for just the embossing and die making part.

You can always emboss over something that’s already been printed (printing and embossing are two separate processes). Foil embossing is another option if you need something other than blind embossing. But preparing the artwork for the die itself is just black and white (unless you’re getting into sculpting the die surface itself).

Yes I did the edit on my previous post. Got it thanks.

That was really fast.
Thank you all.

Almost every time I had a client ask for embossing, they didn’t actually mean embossing. Whereas a solid die strikes the piece, and should you turn the card over, you would see the image as a recess on the back. I’ve had countless people refer to thermography as embossing.

I’m not sure of a digitized or cost effective method of replicating this exact effect however. You could pay 2-300 bucks just to tool the die.

In most cases you’ll need to create a vector mask, depicting the location of the die impression.

I wasn’t able to any images however, despite conversation regarding a visual sample.

I was wondering about thermography on this too. Mostly cuz it seems like a really dumb idea to have the tool side on the face.
We used to get nice business cards with our logo done thermographically to sort of represent the 3D-ness of our work. Now they are just cards-R-us generic cards.
So sad.

There’s also engraving, which doesn’t have the rubbery texture of thermography. It still requires a die, but would mostly eliminate the problem of the image being visible from the other side, like will be the case with embossing.

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