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Embossing, Debossing, and Letterpress

Glass Cabin Films Logo Design

First, before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let’s point out the commonalities between embossing, debossing, and letterpress. So what do they have in common? All three methods involve pressing paper to add texture to a logo design, business card, or invitation. They can be combined with the use of color or foil stamping to add sophistication and depth to a design.

To emboss, deboss, or lettterpress — that is the question. To decide which design best suits your business or brand, let’s now examine the differences… shall we?


Embossing is when the design is raised on paper – if you run your fingertips over it, your fingers will rise slightly… like a car driving over a speed bump, so to speak. This effect is achieved by placing the piece of paper between two dyes. The raised area can be inked, foiled, or left plain (called a blind emboss). Official documents, like diplomas, or seals on certificates are often embossed. The reverse side of the embossed paper is debossed.


Debossing, however, is the direct opposite of embossing — the desired area is depressed, or lowered into the paper. Using the same car simile above, a debossed area is like a pothole in a street. You want to avoid those when driving. But not necessarily when it comes to design. This process also uses two dyes. One of which is pressed into the paper from above and the other from below. The reverse side of the debossed paper is embossed.


Letterpress is like debossing, but there’s no impression on the other side. This technique uses one dye, which presses into the paper from above. Simply put, letterpress is a form of relief printing, where the text or image is on a raised surface… think of those rubber stamps a doorman uses to stamp your hand when entering an event, bar, or club. The ink is then applied to the raised surface and then paper is pressed directly against it to impress the text or image.

Here’s a fun fact… POP THE PIXEL used the letterpress method on a holiday gift pack of coasters that was sent out to our clientele some years back.


Embossing adds attractive texture to your paper crafts and is a great way to enhance the visual element to your design, and/or logo design. If you have some questions in regards to trying out one (or all three) of these elements with your design, give us a ring at 323-848-4465 or send us a message. POP THE PIXEL can help you emboss like a boss.

Feeling kind of like a boss? Check out some of our website design, logo design, and other creative projects on POP THE PIXEL’S Instagram page and let us know what you think!

About the Author of This Post

Christopher Dalbey is an actor and screenwriter who likes to hear the funny side of the story first. You can follow his odd-yssey on Instagram, and see full clips of his work on


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