Designers sometimes forget that their print media projects are actually three-dimensional—even if the designs imprinted on them are created in a two-dimensional environment. Paper stock may be thin, but audiences will still hold and interact with them using their hands, which means that a sense of touch is just as important as visual aesthetic when it comes to making a lasting impression.
Embossing allows you to give extra dimension to your printed design, letting the audience experience it with both their eyes and their fingertips. Here are just a few of our favorite designs that make use of this engaging and memorable print technique.
Not only is the lava creature on the cover of this presentation folder very impressive to look at, it’s also engaging to the touch. The image is sculpture embossed, giving it complex and subtly detailed tactile features similar to a relief painting.
This genius branding idea puts embossing front and center, since the brand’s name is already a play on “emboss.” MBOS is a consulting company with a mantra of “raise the level,” making it a perfect fit for this business card and stationery with lettering that is literally raised.
This stunning stitched brochure folder demonstrates the kind of elegant design that’s achievable through blind embossing. The raised logo uses contour lines to create a sophisticated look. and since the audience can trace the design without lifting their finger, it creates a stronger, more memorable impression.
Using embossing and debossing in tandem can enhance the three dimensional look of your print designs. This business card’s front side uses debossed negative space to form the company’s logo. If you flip the card over, the inverted motif creates a similar, yet unique and distinctive textural effect.
These promotional mailers were designed to show off the creative possibilities of embossing and debossing. The front side of each features debossed words that, when flipped over, transform into embossed words with different meanings. Tying the embossed effects directly into the marketing copy is a bold way to grab the audience’s attention.
Rather than only embossing a single word or shape, the repeating “Welcome” pattern on the cover of this folder creates a large textured area that’s pleasing to the touch. The design is somewhat reminiscent of the welcome mat outside of a house, making it a good way to indirectly encourage recipients to look inside.
Debossing can be just as engaging an effect as embossing, as demonstrated by the deep deboss in this business card design. Only the negative space in the monogram has been debossed, which makes the logo look as if it’s popping off the page. This is one clever way to indirectly create a three-dimensional “embossed” effect.
The front of this branded business card features a colorful embossed imprint that also creates a blind debossed mirror image on the backside. This allows both sides of the card to have a strong visual identity, while still leaving room on the back for contact information.
This print media campaign uses repeating patterns reminiscent of the textiles the company is known for. The dotted background not only provides visual interest, it creates an irresistible surface that audiences want to touch and connect with, helping them remember the product later.
If you need some help working with embossed designs, this free real estate folder template may give you a better understanding. The template includes not only embossed text and logos, but embossed border patterns on the top and bottom of the page; when the folder is opened or closed, the reader is likely to feel these areas.
If you’re curious about embossing or debossing your own print media designs, be sure to contact a designer or printer with experience in these techniques, one who can work with you if you need something more complex. Embossing effects work best on thick, fibrous stocks, so only work with a printer that uses high-quality materials.