Embossing is a process by which a metal plate containing an image in relief is pressed into paper, forming a raised image - the opposite process, debossing, results in a lowered image. Here are some things to think about when using this technique:
Embossing tends to smooth out the paper's surface - you can take advantage of this by contrasting the smoothness of an embossed image with a highly textured paper (like a felt finish).
The finished image appears smaller than the original because of the bevel or rounded side of the emboss.
When done improperly, embossing can sometimes cause the paper to tear, crack, or pucker around the edges.
Brass or steel dies dies tend to be better for longer press runs or a multi-level emboss. Magnesium dies can be mor ecost effective for shorter runs or a simple emboss.
Make sure the emboss is imprinted with the grain of the paper to prevent cracking/tearing.
Specify a bevel emboss for sharp details or pointed edges; bevels allow for a deeper emboss without tearing the paper.
Make images and type slightly oversized, and space your type to provide extra room to allow for beveled or rounded edges.
Avoid small type or type with pointed serifs.
Avoid printing type over the reversed embossed image on the opposite side of the sheet.
Request to have the die undercut slightly at the edges, to adjust for the amount of pressure necessary to emboss a highly textured sheet.