Embossing and debossing are both popular printing methods that add an extra texture to a print product. Either technique can help to give your print that extra wow factor. Both techniques help specific parts of your product stand out, whether it’s an eye-catching business card or on bespoke packaging.


But what’s the difference between the two? And when should you use embossing, and when should you use debossing? In this piece, we’ll answer all!




Embossing is when an image on a piece of print is raised. It has a physical texture that is noticeable to the touch. The raise happens when the material is pushed from underneath, through a metal plate. The printer then may choose to apply foil for that extra finishing touch. Alternatively, a bling emboss is when the raise is left unfoiled.


With an emboss, you’ll get a design that really pops and catches the eye.





Debossing, as you might have guessed by now, has the opposite effect of embossing. With debossing, the printer will create an indent in the material to create a sunken effect on your print product. The process uses a metal die which is stamped onto the material to cause the imprint.


Both techniques are very similar, which is why they can often get confused! However, they both use heat, pressure and metal plates to create a design that enhances a print product.


When to use Embossing Versus When to use Debossing


Whilst they are both similar, there are some situations when you’re best using embossing, and some situations where you’re better of using debossing.


For example, if you had a print run of business cards, embossing would be the preferred technique. This is because with embossing you can emboss on both sides of the material, whereas this isn’t possible with debossing.


Conversely, if you’re imprinting a logo onto some promo items, the recommended technique is debossing, as it only required one plate, meaning the process is generally less expensive.


If you’re concerned about cost, then debossing is the route to take. However, what you might save in terms of cost you may lose in terms of end product impact. Consider what effect you want your print product to have.


You must also consider the material that’s being used for your print. As both embossing and debossing use high degrees of heat, if your material can’t withstand the hot temperatures then your printer won’t be able to emboss or deboss.


How to get the most out of Embossing and Debossing


Both techniques, whether you emboss to raise a part of your print, or deboss to indent it, can help to make your print product stand out. But to get the most out either technique, there are a few things to consider.


Firstly, use embossing or debossing for the important information on your product. For example, use the techniques for your logo. The technique can really help your branding stand out, whether its on stationary, letterheads or packaging. You can also use it to draw the eye of the consumer to the most important information on the product. Using embossing especially can make the information stand out, thus increasing the appeal of the printed product.


Secondly, if you have a product that’s likely to be physically touched by the consumer, strongly consider using embossed or debossed print. Products such as sales brochures really benefit from the technique, as it adds a quality feel when the prospect holds it. It helps to make the whole print seem more valuable, which in turn reflects that perception on to your brand.




Both embossing and debossing are perfect for adding that additional quality look and feel to your product. Whether its packaging or business cards, both techniques help to improve the appeal and should be incorporated into your design.


There are many products that embossing and debossing can be used on, including:


  • Brochures
  • Letterheads
  • Packaging
  • Business Cards
  • Books
  • Bottle prints
  • Envelopes


At Dornans, our master craftsmen will be able to advise on the perfect finish for your print product. As well as embossing and debossing, we offer a range of other finishing techniques to really make your product stand out. Working with our in-house design team, and the most up-to-date printing technology, whatever your requirements, at Dornans we can provide a printed solution that exceeds your expectations.