Blind over color / color over blind?

Just curious, and wondering what’s worked for others:

I’m planning to print text, color field, and a debossed/blind image. Text over color field, but I’m wondering: blind image first, or last? My experience is that sometimes a blind impression will ‘pull’ ink from a print, and I’m wondering if printing ink over a blind will eliminate this. Can certainly experiment myself, but curious to see what others have done.

One additional note: the press will be either a Vandercook 2 (hand inking & no registration) or a V. 3 (if I’m lucky).

Thanks in advance; this is a great resource, and I’m truly grateful.

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If you have the time you should expriment and try it both ways and you may discover techniques that help you on this job or in the future. But my thought is that debossing the sheet should come last and the main reason I say that is because if the sheet were no longer flat the ink may smudge as the plate pushes the paper down flat and it may well crush or change the deboss edges in some way.
If you get ink moving from the paper to the deboss die you may need to run the sheets through a dryer first.

Also once you deboss the sheet it will no longer be the same dimensions and your registration may not be tight after that. When you deboss the paper it forms a bump that changes the shape of each sheet.

Thanks Bruce. My instinct is to go last with the blind print, too. I’ll give this a shot. Registration isn’t terribly crucial here (the V3 has no registration), but I am concerned about the unplanned ink transfers.


Blind second, unless they don’t overlap. If they don’t touch I do the blind impression first just because that’s how I like to do it. When you print the text second, it sometimes smears in areas where its crossing into a depressed area.

Originally, I thought it should go the other way because I thought the blind stamp would distort the text when it pressed down into it. I find that in either case you might try and vary the depth of the text and the blind stamp to avoid this - just make the second ‘color’ a little deeper than the first so they aren’t on the same plane in the paper