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Started by Derek Ashenden, May 01, 2008, 10:00:23 PM

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Derek Ashenden

I have had arequest from a customer to have is logo embossed.I have sourced a company that makes the die. However I am not sure how to make the female die. I seem to remember when I was a apprentice (many years ago) making it out of blotting paper. Has anyone got any tips on this subject.

Dave Hughes

Hi Derek, and welcome to the Metal Type forum.

I watched this video on Youtube a while ago on the subject of "Embossing and Debossing" - I'd never come across the term "Debossing" before!

Not sure if it answers the question you're asking, but maybe it's worth a look:

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Jeff Zilles [jeffo]

I was willing to shut up and let someome else have a crack at this subject first but not much seems to have happened so  --  'In like Flynn - feet first.'

From the information supplied it appears that it is intended to use a male die.

If this is the case, then for the finished work to have an embossed effect when viewed face up, the job would have to be impressed from the rear of the sheet.  The warning here is that the die required must be right reading or 'twill end up ass-about.

Forseeable problems ---

Register - should there be text to accompany the embossing the lay would need to be reversed.

Unless the boss is very shallow / low, most paper stocks embossed to any depth this way without extra and special gear will show a tendency to crease at random just outside the image.  A perfectly fitting hard counter, engineered with calulated clearance for the particular stock and jolly hard to position might alliviate this problem should it arise.

A female die, on the other hand, would be wrong reading as normal, would be impressed/depressed on the face side of the sheet and because it would have a  blank surface around the 'boss sufficient to hold onto the sheet as it is stretched - cracks, splits and creases are less likely to occur.

In such a situation a counter could be built up from blotting paper, [where do you get that now?] coaster board or if a bit more beef is needed, binder's board [used to be strawboard or millboard].

As you build up the counter with gradually increased and oft repeated impression the area ouside the 'boss is pared away carefully with your trusty Swiss knife, scalpel, X-Acto or what have you. 

Take care not to gouge this area - keep it as smooth as possible and perhaps even carefully sand the little bumps off the gripped section.

This method would be my general recommendation for the easiest job with the least wastage for a blind embossed result.

Be reminded also, that for more than a century, thermographic images - generic name Virkotype  -  have been found to be an economically acceptable substitute for the real thing - steel die plate printing from a hand engraved steel or copper die -  where the finished result is an embossed inked image.

The 'debossing' term seems to have appeared on the scene fairly recently - say the last 25 / 30 years - and would generally describe a male die setup.  Older printers would probably have described the dented effect as 'plate sinking',  though I expect there were a number of local names for the result that I 'aint yet heard of.


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