Daily Archives: June 10, 2015


Published by:


The paper stock to be used could be recycled, textured, coated, or uncoated. Generally, the tougher and rougher the paper stock, the more durable the Die metal needs to be. Smoother paper stocks don’t wear out the Embossing Dies as quickly and so Magnesium can yield good runs. Copper Dies are recommended when using heavily textured papers and for longer runs.

Plastic sheets e.g. polyester xxxxxx
Substrate Selection

The customer’s selection of the substrate may affect the appearance of the printed foil. Substrates such as cotton, vellum, laid (textured), straw board, recycled and other porous papers will dull certain foils. It is very important to select the correct compatible foil for the material it is to be printed onto. To achieve a good quality impression, the surface tension of the material to be printed on must be higher than 40 Dyne’s. A Dyne test marker is readily available and can be used to test different substrates for its potential hot stamping capability.

Recycled Substrate

Recycled paper and board (card) is becoming increasingly popular. The print setup characteristics for recycled and virgin materials are generally quite different. This is due to high compression levels of recycled fibre in the substrate. When foil printing large solid areas on recycled materials, significantly more pressure is required when compared to virgin fibre material. When printing on recycled materials, it is quite common for the foiled print impression, not to appear as mirror-like as on virgin substrate. Compression inconsistencies in recycled substrates can make it difficult to print fine lettering or detail consistently. Recycled substrates generally tend to be fibrous and abrasive in character and so act as sandpaper on the printing Die. This will result in a shorter print life for the Die and an additional replacement Die may be needed may need to be costed in.

Suitability of Substrate

Build up a range of samples for your own testing. Many suppliers will send you samples for testing particularly if you are a regular customer. In most instances foil suppliers are quite happy to test print foils onto the substrate you wish to use, and supply you with a compatible foil. They will also provide temperature data and any other information you require. It is best you ask for this information when you send then the substrate to test print.

Selecting a Supplier

  1. Create a list of suppliers of foils, substrates and products you want to source using the internet, current suppliers, contacts in the trade, machine manufacturers etc.
  2. Contact all the suppliers and get there catalogues, pricelist, colour swatches, samples etc.
  3. Talk to these supplies and check the services and level of help they provide.
  4. Avoid sourcing from too many suppliers as it can be a logistic headache and your shipping cost can be potentially be high negating any cost savings in product price.
  5. When talking to suppliers you should be able to tell which companies are more helpful, easier to deal with, more flexible, have more of the products you want, more generous with samples etc. and put them is your list of preferred suppliers.
  6. A list will soon be created on this website but as we would like to create a global list please send us the details of any suppliers you know off.

General Technical Data

Published by:

General Technical Data

Die Life

The number of impressions that you can expect to achieve with different types of Dies is difficult to quantify. There are many factors which will determine how long a Die will last:

  • Type of stock (smooth or textured)
  • Thickness of stock
  • Amount of tonnage used on your press
  • The press operator’s care when handling Dies
  • The press operator’s make-ready technique
  • How many “up” the job is running

Like everything else with Hot Foil Stamping and Embossing, there is an element of trial and error on what will work best for a specific job.


Unlike offset printing where proofing can be difficult, time consuming and costly, proofing a Hot Foil printing Die is usually very easy, quick and inexpensive. Test Embossing may take longer than just printing but for a skilled operates, not much longer. Once the Die has been made, you can easily mount it on your machine and produce a few test prints /proofs, Embossing. If you don’t already hold them in stock, you can ask your foil and or substrate supplier for samples. You can test, evaluate, make changes and get final approval of the print and or Embossing before commercial production. When quoting always allow for any unforeseen problems, proofing, proof checking, approval, delivery, specification changes, etc.

Ownership of printing Die

Before the printing or Embossing Die is produced, it’s a good idea to look into who retains the property rights to the Die. Occasionally the ownership of the Die remains with the printer / converter, but usually the Die is the property of the end customer. Though end customers may own the Dies, it is the printer / converter who store them for the customers. This prevents customers losing or damaging the Dies. Ensure the end customer has the rights to use any logo, illustrations, photos, and other images on the print / Embossing job.

Environment Impact

Hot Foil printing and its associated processes are an environmentally safe and friendly print technology. It is a totally dry printing system, with no inks, solvents or vapours’ associated with it. The waste foil will biodegrade in a landfill within 3 to 12 months, and foil printed paper stock, can be easily recycled to create new recycled paper and board. The manufacturing facilities where the foil and substrates are made are mostly complaint with international environmental regulations and many exceed them.

Wear and Tear

When you suspect a Die has become worn, compare a current output with samples from the beginning of the run or from a previous run, which used the same Die. Reduced depth or clarity of the Embossed or stamped image is a good indicator that the Die is worn. Check the Die itself for dull, rounded edges. Perform these checks after each production run if you plan to keep the Die for a future run, and replace at the first signs of wear. Always keep samples from the beginning, middle and end of each production batch and mark them so they are easily identifiable. In that way you will be able to see the deteriorations of the Die.

Surface Area Pressure

The pressure required to achieve optimum results depends on the size of the surface area being Embossed or debossed. In most cases, subject to the design and substrate, the larger the square area the greater the pressure required to Emboss or de-boss.

Length of Press Run

As a general rule of thumb, the longer the Embossing run the greater the wear on the Embossing Die and Counterforce. However, this is also very dependent on other external factors, and even the length of what is considered a long or short run is subject to each companies own interpretation. The abrasive characteristics of the substrate, the quality of the Die and the Counterforce, the correct alignment of the two, heat (where applicable), pressure etc. are some of the factors can reduce the metal Embossing Die. It is possible to achieved runs in the upper tens of thousands Magnesium. If you are using heat, and have a long print and or Embossing run, Brass or Copper are recommended as the preferred choice of Die manufacturing material.

Handling and Maintenance

The tolerances on your press should be checked regularly as poor tolerances will increase wear and decrease the life of your Embossing Dies. Poor tolerances will also increase your make ready and setup time. Prepare your make ready with great care as scratching and dents can easily occur. With careful handling, you can avoid damaging the Embossing Die and Counterforce. Store your metal Dies with care, a good way to store your Dies is to first spray coat the metal Dies with JetStream release spray or alternatively an aerosol based oil such as WD40, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil etc. Wipe any dripping oil off the Die then place a thin plastic sheet in front of the image area such as a sheet of polyester then place in a thick clear self-seal (Ziploc) plastic bag. Label each pack correctly for easy identification, job name, number, customer details etc. Do not place Dies one on top of the other. Place the Dies in a strong plastic or metal box, upright as you would store documents in a filing cabinet. Most engraved or etched Dies will corrode and it is important to test the different oils and surface treatments available to see which ones work best for you. When handled and stored properly you will be able to use the Dies quickly with minimum surface cleaning.

Glue Stick:

Glue Stick is available in most good stationary shops and the standard version available is a temporary adhesive but a permanent bond version is also available. It is this permanent bond version that can be used to bond layers of Embossing board together and the boards to the Counterforce mount. This dry glue stick adhesive is applied like a crayon, and when the layers of Embossing board are compressed under pressure the adhesive creates a good bond between the layers. The layers of Embossing boards can still be separated from the mounting plate / chase when hot. Most of the strength of a Counterforce made with the Glue Stick is horizontal to the press’s force. The Counterforce will not shift sideways. No “drying” time is required and a Counterforce can be cut immediately after being glued. You may have to experiment with the different brands/makes of the glue stick before you find the right one for you.

Project planning and overview

Published by:

Project planning and overview


The sophistication of Embossing

To make your printed work really stand out, a number of options are available. Hot Foil printing, spot varnish thermography and Embossing are a few that come to mind, however nothing does the job better than the sophistication and elegance of Embossing. There are several types and finishes that can be created by Embossing in almost any shape and texture imaginable.

Want your printed materials to look and feel different to others, look no further than Embossing.

Important Notes:

  • When Embossing and or debossing, it is important to make the distinction between registeredand blind. Registered refers to Embossing and or debossing done in registration with a foiled or printed image. Blind refers to Embossing and or de-bossing done on a random area or a non-print area.
  • When selecting paper, colour, coating, texture and weight all play a key role in the look and feel of an Embossed item. For projects where intricate designs need to be Embossed, thick uncoated paper or board will reveal the greatest detail in the Embossed image. You are able to achieve good quality Embossing on thinner materials but will be limit by the depth of the Embossing before the paper will cut/split.
  • Creating an accurate Die can be very difficult without detailed information of what’s being Embossed.

Data required for Die making include:

  • Data on the type of substrate being used.
  • The thickness of the substrate.
  • The run length.
  • The depth of Embossing.
  • The look and affect you need to achieve.
  • The type of Counterforce required.
  • and more…..

This information should be supplied with the Die manufacturing order to allow for correct Die creation. For multi-level and combination Dies, colour-coding the various levels in the image design in the file will ensure accurate Die making. Ensure a colour code Key is supplied with data of the different depth and effects each colour represents. In addition, an image of the top and side view of the Die showing what you require will help in the Die making process.

  • Dies made out of Brass are recommended as they are very durable and are able to create high quality and intricate designs on them. Brass Dies can be engraved using CNC engraving (milling) machines, manual engraving machine or can be hand chiselled to create 2½ and or 3D sculptured Dies. If designed imaginatively these Dies could produce exquisite detail to make your product come alive and stand out from the crowd.
  • It is essential that proper electronic files are created in the formats required by the Die making department or company, when ordering Foil Stamping and or Embossing Dies.
  • When sending files for manufacturing Foil Stamping and or Embossing Dies, ensure the artwork does not contain any information within it that you don’t want engraved or etched on the Die. This includes any information on colour, masks, screens etc.
  • When e-mailing or sending electronic files, it is important that you convert all the fonts to outlines. The outline of a font is all that’s needed when creating Dies for Foil Stamping and Embossing. Most high end design applications have the option to convert fonts into outlines. In Adobe Illustrator, you have to select the Create Outline option for every font in the file. To avoid the possibility of errors, always include “key” information about each font, such as point size, font name and any other attributes.
    All scanned images should be at the highest resolution and, if the file includes scanned artwork, it should be no less than 600dpi resolution. A low resolution scan may result in a blurry image, with its lines and edges feathery and inaccurate. Ensure all images are in black and white, as colour or greyscale images may result in lower quality, increase cost and longer turnaround times.
The intended image             e e e
The effect required
Converting Font to outlines will prevent this
In-fill will occur



























  • When saving files, always save at 100% scale and indicate if the image is right reading or not. There are a number of graphic applications such as Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark express and many more and numerous file formats like Jpg, Tiff, PDF etc. Contact your Die maker or Die department for information on how they would prefer the file to be created, saved, sent etc. They will provide information on the programs they have, what file extension they would require, and any version compatibility issues. Good communication with the Die maker or Die department will greatly reduce mistakes and delays.


  • Where ever possible always send hard copy proofs of any electronic files sent, whether that be by, courier, messenger, post, fax or any other means. This helps to verify that the data sent in the electronic file is accurate and so prevent nasty surprises!

It is important to remember that Embossing Dies can be made as a single-level or multiple-level Die, depending on the complexity required. A combination Die is required if Foil Stamping and Embossing is to take place in one combined pass through the press.


To enhance the Embossing effect, Foil Stamping is sometime added to the process thus creating a striking effect. However when the substrate is Embossed and has no embellishments such as foil or printing on the raised surfaces, it is referred to as Blind Embossing. If the blind Embossing project is designed effectively, it will project a high degree of style and sophistication.

The best Embossed work is usually created from a detailed Die and a thick paper substrate, which combined with the skill of the designer and the machine operator, can produce amazing results. Since Ink, foil, substrate, Die and colour selection are all important elements in the success of an Embossed or Foil Stamped project, it’s a good idea to get the Foil Stamping department or company involved in the project at the design level. Furthermore, before beginning any project where Hot Stamping foil is being used, talk to you foil supplier and similarly to you Die and Counterforce supplier. Good communication is the key to a successful completion of a project.

Die Selection Technical Data

Published by:

Die Selection – Technical Data

Types of Embossing and Dies

Blind Emboss: Blind Emboss is Embossing done on a substrate with no form of printing or marking in the Embossed area. The colour of the Embossed image is the same as the colour of the substrate. It is also known as Self-Emboss or same colour Embossing (2D, 2½D or 3D Die required).

Registered Emboss: An Embossed image that exactly registers to a printed or foil stamped image. The printed image area is Embossed to give it a raised look (2D, 2½D or 3D Die required).

Single-Level Emboss: Embossing where the image area is raised to just one flat level (2D, 2½D required).

Multi-Level Emboss: Embossing where the image area is raised to multiple levels having different depths and angles. This gives the Embossed image texture and added relief (3D Die required).

Sculptured Emboss: An Embossing style originally referred to a hand chiselled Engraving process. Now it is more often than not a CNC Engraved Die with occasional hand finishing. The process starts with a photograph or a drawing with various levels of depth to make the image appear realistic and multi-dimensional (3D Die required).

Printed Emboss: A style where the substrate is first printed and then Embossed in registration on the printed image. Depending on requirements a bevel can be included which can be either within the print image or outside (2D, 2½D or 3D Die required).

Tint Emboss: This style involves the Foil Stamping and Embossing of the image using pearl or pastel foil. Tint Embossing is the same as other Embossing but the use of pearl or pastel foil creates a unique and classy look. It is strongly recommended to use white stock for tint Embossing because pearl and pastel foils are transparent (2D, 2½D or 3D Die required).

Combo Emboss: This refers to an Embossed image that is also foil stamped (2D, 2½D or 3D Die required).

Glazing: Glazing is a technique where a mirror polished Embossing Die is used to Blind Emboss, using heat and pressure, to create unique effects particularly on dark coloured plain and textured substrates. When Embossing, by substantially increasing the heat and pressure, you are able to add a shine (burnished effect) to the surface of a matte substrate. When Embossing at very high temperatures, using light coloured paper or card, a scorched effect colour change will occur on the substrate. If done properly, this will create great contrasting effects and designs (2D, 2½D or 3D Die required).

Gloss Emboss: This is a technique of combining a clear foil (similar to varnish, but deeper) with Blind Embossing, producing a high-gloss Embossed image.

Debossing: The surface is depressed instead of raised as in Embossing (2D, 2½D or 3D Die required).

Single Level Embossing: Raises an image above the stock level, on a single level (2D / 2½D Die required).

Single Level Debossing: Presses an image down into the substrate, on a single level (2D / 2½D Die required).

Multi-Level / Sculptured Embossing Dies: A realistic impression and illusion of a three dimensional image, for example a face (3D Die required).

Textured Embossing Dies: Textured Embossing produces a tactile quality to Embossing or Foil Stamping. Embossing and De-bossing techniques are great ways to add dimension and elegance to logos, images, headlines and other text. They can also be used to create texture and other realistic effects that mirror the printed design of a project. An extensive range of textured Emboss effects can be created to enhance the background or be combined with other Emboss images. Common textures are pebble or wood grain effect, but the list of effects that can be created are endless.

Duplicates: Phenolic or plastic duplicates taken from original Engraved Dies for use in place of, or alongside the original Engraving. Duplicates are most commonly used when one image appears several times on the same master sheet.

Combination Foil/Embossing

Engraving in metal allows you to create near photo quality multilevel or sculptured images.

CAD design software and CNC Engraving machines allow the designers to create elaborate designs accurately, consistently and quickly and at a relatively low cost. Advances in communications, electronics, software and automation have opened up all types of technology for the printing and allied industries. The manufacturing time and the cost of creating sculptured Embossing or combination Die is a fraction of what it once was. Not many years ago Engravers were using a hammer and chisel to carve out intricate images for Embossing, making Engraving a very labour intensive, time consuming and expensive process. Though hand engraving still takes place, it is limited to specialist work or where programming on CAD-CAM software would take too long.

Examples of printed products including Embossing can be seen everywhere from Greeting Cards, Book Covers, Business Cards, stationery, Cereal Boxes, Perfume Packaging, Presentation Folders and much more all use sculptured Embossing and combination Dies. Just about everything in today’s print media market is open to sculptured Embossing and Foil Stamping.

The creation process of making a sculptured Embossing/combination Die begins with the customer and designer discussing the project. Deciding what type of Foil Stamping and or Embossing is required, what type of Die and Counterforce is required, shapes and textures within the designs, what type and thickness of substrate will be used. The overall look and feel, the finish, the areas where foil is to be printed, the print and or Embossing run and so forth. All these and more will affect choices made in the CAD-CAM design, Die material, Engraving depth, whether hand finishing is required and so on. 

Combination Work

Combination foiling and Embossing, or foil Embossing integrates Foil Stamping and Embossing into one press pass through the use of a combination Die, which is usually a Brass-sculptured Embossing Die.

Combination foiling and Embossing
Die       Counterforce     Substrate     Relieved Area
Die   Foil       Counterforce   Substrate   Relieved Area
Die   Foil   Counterforce   Substrate   Relieved Area










Print Embossing Substrates

Published by:

Print – Emboss Substrates

Selecting substrates for Embossing:

The texture of paper and board are important when Embossing. Sometimes textured paper is Embossed to smooth out the paper in the image area and sometimes, smooth paper is used for Embossing and adding texture to create a striking finish. Whichever way you do it, Embossing can produce some amazing effects especially when combined with Hot Foil printing.

When Embossing, paper and or card is stretched in the image area. Heavy, long fibered materials are structurally stronger and therefore, using these types of paper and or card stock reduces the possibility of damage to the substrate when Embossing. In contrast, lightweight, heavily coated or varnished papers and or boards including recycled materials, are not suitable, as they have a tendency to crack easily. As a rule of thumb the more processed a paper is, the shorter its fibres, so the weaker it becomes and therefore cannot withstand the pressures of Embossing.

When Embossing, the depth and degree of bevel achievable is determined by the substrate. A thicker substrate can produce more dramatic Embossing effects because the impression can push deeper into the substrate and varying levels of relief become possible.


ü Suitable

~ Maybe Suitable

X Not suitable

– Not Applicable

Paper Guide and its suitability for Foil Stamping

ü Cotton Fibre Bond writing papers
ü Sulphite
ü Duplicator
ü Mimeograph
ü Cast Coated Coated Materials
~ Gloss Coated
ü Matte / Dull
~ Textured
~ Coated Both Sides
ü Smooth / Wove Uncoated Materials
ü Vellum / Antique
~ Parchment
ü Hard – Textured
~ Soft – Textured
ü Duplex
ü Bristol
~ Coated Board
ü Uncoated Board
~ Pressure – Sensitive Miscellaneous Materials
~ Gummed
X Newsprint

Labelling and packaging design and production companies and their customers recognise the powerful visual impact created when incorporating Hot Foiling and Embossing within their design. Many companies including some of the world leading consumer brands adeptly embellish their print with Hot Foil printing and or Embossing to great effect, helping them increase customer confidence and brand loyalty. Hot Foiling using standard or custom holographic foils can also be used to reduce counterfeiting and at the same time enhance the visual appearance of the print.

Dark coloured substrates present its’ own set of problems. The opacity levels of pigments in the different types of foils available and from different manufacturers may vary greatly. The resulting colour of the printed image and the contrast between then on a dark substrate may not be acceptable to the client. This applies to translucent pastel, light colour foils, high gloss pigment foils and so forth.

A simple solution to solving colour compatibility is to create overlays. Use transparent plastic cards or cut sheets of polyester, acetate or other similar products to a suitable size. Produce a metal Die which should include thin lines, solids and text.

Colour Check 








Colour Test

An example of a colour check card



Using different colour and types of foil print a few test cards of each colour and mark each card with the foil supplier and foil product number or code. This will make it easier to identify the foil later. Once printed place the transparent colour check cards onto any substrate to check colour compatibility. This method is particularly handy in helping customers choose the best foil colour for the substrate they want to print onto.

Design & Artwork Planning

Published by:

Design & Artwork Planning

Preparing Embossing Artwork

To achieve high quality Embossing or Debossing, it is essential that all the stages of production are correct and of the highest quality. Artwork creation is the first stage in the process and it is extremely important to get that right. Not all artwork designs are suitable for Hot Foil printing and or Embossing. Some designs are better suited for plain substrates rather than textured and similarly some designs are better on thin rather than thick substrates. When Embossing thin artwork, the Embossing will not be as deep as you would have, if the design was bold. When combining thin and bold lines in the artwork, the resulting Embossing will produce uneven results. Avoid designs incorporate fine patterns such as halftones as they do not Emboss and or De-boss well.

  • Keep the design uncluttered and bold. Avoid too many fine details and tiny crisscross lines.
  • When using lettering use sans serif fonts such as Arial and space them so that there is enough space between each letter to allow for the Embossing effect to be properly created.
  • Slightly Increase the size of the art, to compensate for the added dimension.
  • For multi-level Embossing it is best to use colour codes to indicate the various levels.
  • Keep the image area at least 6mm / ¼” away from the edge of an oversized sheet to avoid puckering or wrinkling. If the Embossing is being done on a finished project, keep a 13mm / ½” margin.
  • To prevent dissatisfaction and ensure success and overall customer satisfaction, it is critical that the customer, the artwork designer and the Die maker, talk to each other and fully understand the customer’s requirements. The best way to avoid problems is to listen carefully to the customer, make detailed notes, ensure that the customer’s specifications are correct and share information openly with each other.

Artwork design for Embossing and Foil Stamping Dies

  • When designing artwork for single level Embossing Dies, output your artwork off a high quality imagesetter, 1200 to 2400 DPI laser printer, or a good quality photocopier.
  • Attach a velum overlay and write clear and detailed instructions of what is required for your Die manufacturing department or Die maker.
  • Whenever possible, all line / rule thickness should be 2 pt. or more, this is because of the inherent bevel, smaller lines are more difficult to Emboss cleanly.
  • For optimum foil printing quality, use line art and avoid type smaller than 8 pt. and copy with tight intricate detail may plug (infill).
  • Mark the vellum overlay attached to the artwork specifying if a bevel or round edge is required and the type of substrate to be Embossed.
  • Embossing thick card normally produces excellent results, although Embossing on thinner materials will produce a better quality and more detailed Embossing.
  • When Hot Foil printing and or Embossing it is strongly advised to keep away from crease / fold lines.
  • To accommodate the bevel (the relief image’s “face to base” shoulder angle) on the Embossing Die, it is recommended that the artwork should be slightly larger and heavier than the artwork required for offset printing.
  • Greater the Embossing depth required, the more kerning (letter space) must be incorporated into the Die artwork design. This is because the larger bevel will take up more space around each element of the image. Extremely small and intricate designs should be avoided, but by working closely with your Die making department or your Die maker, you should be able to reproduce fine detail of reasonably good quality.
  • When designing artwork for multilevel (combo) Dies, output your artwork off a high quality imagesetter, 1200 to 2400 DPI laser printer, or a good quality photocopier. For complex multilevel jobs, it is recommended that you colour code the various levels with permanent ink markers (felt tip pens).
  • Create a depth and bevel chart and with a series of engraver’s symbols you can mark the overlay that will indicate to the Die making department or the Die maker the desired effects required.

Commercial Uses of Embossing

Published by:

Commercial Uses of Embossing

Most commercial applications for Embossing tends to be Aesthetic.

  • It is quite popular to Embossing paper objects like Cards, Letter Writing Paper and Envelops Thank You Notes, Invitation Cards, Paper Gift Bags, Greetings Cards and other kinds of paper or card based stationery. All it needs is a small-Embossed design to make the product more appealing and would result in increased sales.
  • Hot Embossing (branding) is a great method for personalizing gifts like a leather wallet and or a diary. The name or a message can be Embossed on the gift to make the recipient feel extra special and increase the perceived value of the gift.
  • Emboss fabrics for manufacturing clothing, curtains, cushion covers and other household furnishings and add another dimension to the product.
  • Embossing business cards, greeting cards and packaging are probably the largest applications of Embossing. Embossed letterheads, cards and office stationery are often used by large corporations to portray a professional and yet stylish look.
  • Embossing is used extensively for the blind, with books Embossed in Braille and more and more consumer products having information in Braille particularly warnings and hazards.
  • Embossing is widely used on credit cards, debit cards, identity cards, membership cards and so forth. This type of Embossing tends to be alphanumeric and uses steel Dies or type. Plastic cards are normally Embossed using a manual or computer controlled feed and Emboss machine.
  • Embossing is used extensively by advertising and marketing companies. It is widely used on promotional materials, freebies and giveaways and so forth. Embossing allows for a brand to be imprinted in a stylish and unobtrusive way.
  • Embossing is widely used on fabrics for everything from curtains, drapes, cushion covers and bed spreads to shirts, dresses, caps and casual wear and much more.
  • Embossing is also widely used in the bookbinding trade. Repairing classic leather bound books to binding and Embossing new ones.

Uses of Embossing & Foiling

Published by:

Uses of Embossing & Foiling

Embossing is the process where a multi-dimensional 2D, 2½D and or 3D image is press formed onto a substrate. This new raised element could be a design, pattern, lettering, logo, seal etc. The surface could be anything on which you can press and leave an impression. Paper is the most popular surface for Embossing but cloth, wood, glass, tiles and much more can be Embossed. Embossing is an elegant process that adds aesthetic appeal to the object. Embossing has many practical uses.

When a project calls for an attention-grabbing design, the printing and finishing options available are endless. The options when printing include the selection of unique colours of inks and or foils. Also available are a large range of high quality, exclusive, specialist and or premium substrates from numerous suppliers. These substrates are available in textured, matt or glossy coatings, to further increase the choices available, and to make the project stand out. The finishing options includes intricate Die cuts, foldouts, index tabs, pop ups, embellishments and more.

Foil Stamping is the process there a heated metal Die with a design etched or engraved on it, is used to press a coloured and or patterned foil onto a substrate to create that design. Embossing is a process where an engraved or etched Die with its matching Counterforce is used the form a 2½D and or 3D design on a substrate. To take it to another level and create an even more striking effect, a combination Die is used, which allows you to foil print and Emboss the design at the same time, and is known as registered Embossing. Registered Embossing is Embossing that is in alignment with the Hot Foil stamped area. When Embossing without Foil Stamping or not in register to any printing, it is referred to as Blind Embossing.

Foil Stamping and or Embossing are ideal for projects that call for design that is striking and elegant. They are both versatile processes as the end results are eye-catching, with uses ranging from Business Cards and Letterhead to Pocket Folders, Invitations, Book Dust Jackets, Annual Returns, Reports, Marketing Materials, Menus and much more



Materials Heat Expansion Data

Published by:

Materials Heat Expansion Data

The Coefficient of Thermal Expansion, which is typically represented by the symbol , is a measure of the change in length of a material in response to a change in its temperature.

Within small temperature changes, the change in the length of a material is proportional to its change in temperature. Materials will expand as its temperature increase, and contract with decreasing temperatures. Different materials expand by different amounts as shown in the table below.

The table below shows thermal expansion properties of the material that correspond with an approximate temperature of 20°C (68°F). A material’s Thermal Expansion Coefficient is not a fixed constant and increases (slightly) with higher temperatures.

The information provided below should be considered as an approximate guide to values. The results can vary widely between different material manufactures, production batches, material purity and blend tolerances. Material manufacturing processes such as heat treatment, grinding, stress relieving, coat drying etc. all effect the characterises of the material.

Material ~Coefficient of Thermal Expansion 10-6/°C     ~Coefficient of Thermal Expansion 10-6/°F
Aluminium 23.1 (÷1000000 = 0.0000231 per °C) 12.8                       (0.0000128)
Brass 18.4                 (0.0000184) 10.2                       (0.0000102)
Copper 16.5                   (0.0000165) 9.2                         (0.0000092)
Lead 28.9                 (0.0000289) 16.1                      (0.0000161)
Magnesium 24.8                   (0.0000248) 13.8                       (0.0000138)
Steel 10.1 -11.7        (~0.0000109)   Grade Dependent 5.6 – 6.5               (~0.00000605) Grade Dependent
Zinc 30.2                  (0.0000302) 16.8                       (0.0000168)
Epoxy 55.7                   (0.0000557) 31.0                      (0.000031)
Ultra UV Resin
KV Vulcan

Example of material expansion:


For accurate foil printing and foil embossing, copper is the best material, as it is the hardest, the most durable and with the smallest expansion rate of the 3 most popular die making materials.