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.

Business Card Design Tips: Raised Ink Thermography QR Codes

Thermographed QR Code

Raised Ink Thermography QR Code Business CardRaised ink printing (aka thermography) adds visible gloss and texture to business cards. The change in texture creates some great creative design opportunities you can use to make your customers’ QR code stand out.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Use a QR code generator that can incorporate a logo or other unique artwork within the code matrix. To highlight the logo/graphic, use raised ink only on that element. Just remember to have enough contrast — the thermographic element would need to be black or your darkest corporate color, with the rest of the code printed in grey or a subtly lighter version of the corporate color.
  • We’ve also seen designers create a sort of container for the QR code using raised ink. One way to do this is to print the back of the business card using raised ink, full bleed, in a corporate color. Then place the QR code in a window of white space where it can’t be missed.
  • A more playful way to do the “container” idea would be to use a raised ink design to frame the QR code. For example, you could use a graphic representing a smart phone, mobile device, office building, or even a speech balloon. The creative possibilities are endless!
  • Keep in mind that Short Run Printing can combine thermography with a variety of paper stocks — including linen, laid, and colored stocks — and various finishes. Just make sure you remember the contrast rule so your QR code can be easily scanned. And it’s always a good idea to test the QR code prior to submitting your order.

The design world has only scratched the surface of working with QR codes. And right now, Short Run Printing is the only printing company to offer raised ink thermography printing for QR codes. Let’s put our heads together on some groundbreaking designs! Share your thoughts or questions on thermography and QR codes in the comments below.

Make an Impression with Plastic Business Cards

Plastic Business CardsPlastic business cards are known to be proven tools for advertising the services of a business in an efficient and effective manner. They are used for the rapid and customer friendly way of exchanging information. These cards are just the regular business cards but with a better and more professional appeal. Their plastic nature gives them a high end shine alongside providing durability which makes them very long lasting. The pocket sized plastic business cards can instantly polish the business image and have your clients impressed in no time!

How exactly can one utilize the plastic business cards to their best? The answer lies deep within the designing process. They say that the first impression is the last impression. Therefore, in order to make the best impression, the plastic card designing process needs to be given its due attention. A remarkable design will never fail to grab attention and can reflect the business standard in an instant.

When designing the plastic business cards, there are a few essential things to keep in mind. Remember that the card must not miss any of the vital elements. These include the business logo, contact information, business website and the business message. If you have other things to add, they can go the back side of the card in full color printing. Therefore choose one side or double sided printing according to your needs.

Plan a rough layout of how you want the business card to look. Draw where you would like the elements to be printed on the card. Once you have a design in front of you, you can then find a reliable plastic card printing company. Do a bit of research online to find the company that can cater to all your printing needs. The quality of the services offered is very important along with the cost of the services.

Once you have a printing company at hand that you can afford, consider the design. Browse through the gallery of plastic business card templates to find the design that you require. Remember to use colors and a theme that looks consistent with the business message. You can create some really cool effects with the use of lithographic technology. Though slightly expensive, the money will always be worth it. Keep in mind not to go overboard with the design details. The idea is to provide professionalism through a professional looking yet minimalistic design.

Should Your Business Send A Christmas Card?


If you’re under the impression that sending cards during the holiday season is an outdated business practice, you might be missing a great opportunity to make an impression on clients, vendors, co-workers, or others whose minds you might want to be at the top of in the coming year.

While it’s true that the advent of e-greetings have cut into the tradition of sending cards during the holiday season, the U.S. Greeting Card Association is projecting sales of 1.6 billion boxed and individual cards in the U.S. this year. The ability to customize a card with digital photography, online design templates, and personal messaging has made it easier than ever before to send the very best.

So yes, yes, a thousand times yes — your business should send holiday cards! Even if you’re the decision-maker at the most cutting-edge of online technology business, there is room in your customer relations plan for ink, card stock, and festive stamps. The very act of opening an envelope requires a kind of attention that clicking on a link cannot match. Most people will display their cards in some way, even for a short time, to honor the sender, while your email will be buried under the onslaught of other business correspondence in 24 hours (or even less).

A more important issue is what kind of card to send and how to make your card stand out. Here are a few guidelines:

Get Your Cards Out Early.

Procrastination doesn’t look good for work-related communications, and the same goes for formal pleasantries. Not only do you have to account for the possibility that the recipient might be traveling for the holidays, but you also wouldn’t want to seem insensitive when your client Joshua Goldstein receives his card on the eighth day of Hanukkah.

Speaking of religious observances…

Religious Cards Are OK… If You’re Sure

While it’s best to err on the side of caution, with simple messages like “Season’s Greetings,” it’s also an opportunity to pay respect to a person who celebrates the spiritual or cultural aspects of the holiday season. This is not to suggest you should automatically send the aforementioned Mr. Goldstein a card depicting the menorah without knowing if Hanukkah is important to him. The goal of sending a religious card is demonstrating your level of connection to that person and hopefully deepening it. To that end…

Don’t Send Humorous Cards.

A sense of humor is soooo subjective! The risk of coming off anywhere on the spectrum of “too corny” to “wildly inappropriate” is just not worth the attempt. Save the cards containing terrible puns for your cousin and send the ones with off-color jokes about Santa’s reindeer to the friend you used to cut up with during high school algebra class. You don’t want your business to be equated with the sad trombone sound. Remember, sincerity never goes out of style. Which brings us to…

Adding a Personal Touch.

“Cursive is a magic wand,” wrote Boston Globe columnist Beverly Beckham in a recent paean to greeting cards. Getting everyone in a small office to sign the card is a great way to make your business stand out. Even if you custom-design a card, taking that little extra effort to hand-write a warm message and signing your own name lets the recipient know he or she is important to you.