Blind deboss and embossing are two different processes where an impression is made in the paper without the use of ink. To put it in the simplest terms, a deboss is pressed in to the paper, and an emboss is raised up from the paper.

Embossing is a process that requires a male and a female die (die and counter die are the technical terms) and the paper is sandwiched between them in the press, under heat, to mold the paper to the designed shape. A blind deboss is letterpress printing without ink, allowing us to use our standard printing plates. Embossing leaves a reverse image on the back of the sheet and a blind deboss does not. We offer both processes in-house and will be happy to recommend which process is suitable for your art.

Blind deboss can make a compelling brand statement on your business cards, as above. It’s also a wonderful way to add subtle texture and imagery to a wedding invitation without detracting from the text. Two examples of effective use of blind deboss for wedding invitations are below.

A wedding invitation with blind (no ink) deboss (embossing) and dark green lettering printed on soft, thick off-white cotton paper. Port Antonio, Jamaica

In the above example, the letterpress and the deboss overlap, and in the below, they don’t. Both are valid uses of the technique, but they do require different technical execution.