Two of the best printing methods you can choose from are embossing and debossing. Both of these methods work great for vinyl, paper, and leather.


Embossing raises the image on your material using a die made out of copper, magnesium, or brass. The pressure is applied to the back side of the material to give it a three dimensional effect. The first step of the process is to have a die maker engrave your design or image. This is then pressed onto the canvas using heat or force. There are many different emboss shapes like sculptured, bevel-in, bevel-out, and dome.

Debossing, on the other hand, applies pressure to the front part of the material, creating a depressed impression. Just like embossing, it can be done with or without ink. This printing method is less commonly used than embossing, but it can create results that are just as stunning.

Here are the most common types of embossing and debossing that you can choose from when looking for the best printing methods for any project:

Blind Emboss

This type does not use ink or foil to emphasize your design. The only difference comes from this is in its dimensional appearance. It provides a subtle design to projects, such as business cards and invitations.

Registered Emboss

This process places the embossed image in alignment with other elements created with foil, ink, punching, or another embossed image. This requires careful selection of material, as some materials might dull the look of some foils.

Combination Emboss

This is among the best printing methods to use as it combines blind emboss and foil emboss in one. It is a complicated process as the foil and blind emboss areas have to be perfectly aligned. A combination die is used to achieve this effect.

Pastelling or Tint Leaf Embossing

This is used to achieve a soft two-color antique look with the use of pearl or gloss finishes. To achieve a pastel contrasting effect, lighter colored stocks should be used.


This process involves the use of heat to come up with a shiny impression. The result is a glossy or polished design. It can be made brighter with the use of foil. Dark colored stocks work best for this kind of embossing as it makes the polished effect more noticeable.


Scorching is also used to achieve an antique look or shaded appearance. By increasing the heat applied on the canvas, a scorched effect is achieved on the image. Light colored stocks work best for this technique.

It is a bit difficult to choose between embossing and debossing as they are very similar. It all depends on what style you are aiming for. However, it is important to remember that debossing is less complicated than embossing, and it can result in more detailed rendering of artwork and lettering, especially when used with silk screen printing. Embossing, on the other hand, is excellent for company logos, highlights, and borders. Notary seals, diplomas, and company seals also require the use of embossing. In some projects, a combination of embossing and debossing can result to an elegant piece of art.

Have you tried embossing or debossing for any of your DIY projects that require printing? Share your thoughts below.