What exactly is Embossing?

What exactly is Embossing?

So, what exactly IS embossing or debossing?  EM-boss’ing:  Pressure combined with heat to create an impression of a design or text in a dimensional object.  This process is also often called debossing, letterpress or stamping.

At Blue Sky Papers, we want your experience to be unique, meaningful and personal.  One of the ways to help accomplish this goal is to personalize your keepsake with embossing.  Whether choosing to personalize with a logo or design OR by using our very own hand-type set alphabet, your keepsake will have that personal touch reminding you that this item was made just for you.

Here’s some insight into how embossing is done.

Step 1:  Set up the type or die in the typeholder:


– We emboss keepsakes with names, initials, monograms, sayings, “you name it,” on the covers of our books daily.  Our font is Times New Roman and we have several font sizes.  We choose the font size by comparing it to the size of the book’s cover and we select the appropriate size based upon the item’s/book’s cover size and the length of text.  It is ideal to have the personalization around 1/3 width or less of the available space (initials & monograms are always less).

– Arrange letters backwards, as if looking in a mirror.  Place backwards and reversed letters into typeset, tighten and let heat (approx. 2 minutes).

Font typelettersin-typeset-hori


– For custom logos or designs, a custom metal die needs to be created from your art work.  Then, we set the die into typeholder, tighten and let heat (at least 5 minutes depending on size of die).


– Lower typeholder into position.

more books 137closeuptypeset

Step 2:  Check your work!  “Measure twice, emboss once!”

– Using scrap paper or book, make a sample impression by gently pulling down handle and giving the scrap a quick tap.

– Remove foil, review work and make corrections if necessary.

closeupmore books 509personalization-foil

Step 3:  Adjust Sliding Base Plate and Right Angle Gauge to secure the embossing’s location.

– Blue Sky Papers offers several options for the location of your personalization which involves adjusting the sliding base plate and right angle gauge.  Some of the locations are tricky and are therefore more expensive.  But our clients really like to have these options.



Step 4:  The Final Press

– Once book is in place, place the foil over the location to be embossed.  Pull handle down and quickly press letters into cover of book.  The colored foil is permanently bonded into the impression by the heat.  Without foil, the hot letters leave a deep impression in the cover and can “tan” or darken some leathers.  This is called blind embossing.

– Remove book and foil.

tint embossing gold embossing

So, how’s it look?

Personalized Covers

If your pressing for more information, check out Blue Sky Papers video, ‘a film by sepiastory.com‘.  (Skip to 3:40 for heat embossing process)

Blue Sky Papers Video


Still impressed?  Check out this video by Moleskine; Debossing.

Moleskin debossing


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