Embossing is typically accomplished by applying heat and pressure with male and female dies, usually made of copper or brass, that fit together and squeeze the fibers of the substrate
The combination of pressure and heat raises the level of the image higher than the substrate, while "ironing" it to make it smooth. In printing this is accomplished on a letterpress. The most common machines are the Kluge Letterpress and the Heidelberg Letterpress.
| " Debossing" is similar to embossing, but recesses the design rather than raising it.
|| Most types of paper can be embossed, and size is not normally a consideration. Embossing without ink, so that the image is raised but not colored, is called "blind embossing." Embossing used in conjunction with ink, so that the raised area is colored, is called "color register embossing." Embossing used in conjunction with foil stamping is called "combination stamping" or "combo stamping."
|| Embossing involves a separate stage in the production process, after any varnishing and laminating. It requires a separate press run, and is priced accordingly.