Design Tips for Blind Embossed Business Cards

Blind Embossing

What is Embossing?

Embossing is a classic printing process, in which a 3-D image or design is impressed into paper or card stock. The image is created by squeezing the paper medium between two specially carved plates (known as dies) and applying heat.

Different types of dies can have different effects, depending on how we handle the edges and surfaces. For example, the edges of the embossed image can be sharp and well-defined, or they can be rounded or even beveled. Curious about how this works? Ask us!

Embossing is a separate step after printing. Short Run Printing can emboss on any of 25 different stocks, so your options are quite extensive. We do suggest light-colored stocks to best showcase embossing. (Our personal favorite is White Glaskote.)

So now that you know the basics, what is blind embossing?

Put simply, blind embossing is any embossing where the resulting raised image is the same color as the paper — not stamped over a printed image or foil. You see it often in sophisticated business cards and letterhead. It’s subtle and always classy, but you can also create unexpected effects.

Here are a few tips for incorporating blind embossing into your business card designs:

  • Blind Embossed Business Card
  • Blind embossing tends to make type and images look as if they’ve shrunk, even though the added dimensionality makes them stand out. For this reason, make any type that you wish to emboss a few points larger than usual. And make any graphics slightly “fatter” than normal.
  • For greater clarity, rules or lines should be at least 2 points thick, and small serif fonts should be avoided.
  • Heavier paper stocks will produce greater depth and detail.
  • Not sure what to emboss? We suggest company logos, lines, borders and bold text for the most impact. But don’t be afraid to emboss different elements of your design — our design gallery has some good idea-starters.