Blind emboss finishing

Hello everyone!

I was wondering how thin can a line / stroke be when applying a blind emboss finishing? I´m currently designing a stationary and i´m using 0.354 pt stroke. Is it too thin?

Kind regards,


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Are you actually embossing? If not, and you are using photopolymer plates to print minus the ink, the general rule for thinnest line weight is .25 pt stroke. Hope that helps!

No, i´m not embossing. I´m a graphic designer who likes to know about print effects. Thanks a lot cleanwash!

Kind regards,


Hi there,

A photopolymer print minus the ink would provide a blind DEboss, surely. Blind embossing would be done with either a magnesium or brass female and a plastic counter/male.

Calabaca, I’m printing a wedding invite now blind embossing a monogram and there are lines tapering down to about 0.5 pt turning out okay. I think if you go thinner than that you’re going to run into problems. But speak to your printer, maybe they like a challenge!


Here is a method to blind emboss with photopolymer.

People using debossing and embossing interchangeably had me confused for the longest time when we were first introduced to the world of all things printed.

I was just racking my brain trying to remember where I had read about using photopolymer plates for a blind emboss previously. Different site, but similar information.

Have you actually used the process before? We’ve studied up on it but haven’t gotten around to actually attempting it.

Embossing is the result of RAISING a printed image up from the paper/card stock. Blind embossing is the same effect BUT with no printing ink on it. There is some conjecture as to which term to use when a solid printed area is embossed, I can be advised on this. The embossed result is produced by a male and female die.
The effect of impressing INTO the surface of a stock is a result of impression, the correct pressure or an excessive pressure.
Embossing, blind embossing and impression has to be considered in the light of design, length of run, the type of stock, the ability of the material/type/plates being used to make the effect, the impression strength and durability of the press and its ability to register.
Virkotyping or Thermography is yet another effect.
William Amer, Rockley NSW

I have used photopolymer plates for embossing. It woulds relatively well with paper and light card stock, but the plates are not as firm as a brass or magnesium die would be. The counter die can be made in a variety of ways. I demonstrated the use of hotmelt adhesive for counter die creation at the Great Northern/APA Wayzgoose this past Fall.

in certain circles the term “embossing” has been used interchangebly to denote embossing, debossing, or even the application of foil. in the trade, we tend to use the term embossing to mean the raising of blank paper; register embossing is the raising of an ink and/or foil image. this process uses a female die with a matching male counter(part). debossing is the process of indenting a sheet with a die or set of type, or actually using a female counter(part) such as in lowering an area of the work i.e. an indented panel on the front of a greeting card to add a frame/border effect.

Thanks for the link, Sharecropper, I never thought about how one could emboss from photopolymer before. Is obviously the most economical method, thought it isn’t going to give you the depth or sculptured look of a CNC’d brass die. Or, for that matter (off-topic) the ability to foil-emboss in one pass.

Here’s a photo of a wedding invitation printed on Classic Crest 110 lb. cover with three passes:

- cool grey for the type
- blind emboss (wedding couple, raised surface)
- blind letterpress hit (no ink, pressed into the paper)

You can see the emboss and letterpress hit next to each other in the pic below.

image: blind_emboss.jpg