The embossing and debossing processes can be traced back to hot stamping plates and early methods of engraving leather around the 15th century. By the 19th century, we were using these techniques to create engraved coins and other items. Today, this process is even used to get the name on Oreo cookies!

While the exact origins of embossing and debossing aren’t certain, the modern procedures can be traced back to Stanley Dashew’s techniques in the 1950s. His company, Dashew Business Machines, could emboss roughly 2,000 plates per hour, which was a groundbreaking achievement for the future of mass production. More notably, Dashew’s company changed currency in the United States by embossing the first plastic credit cards.

What is the difference between embossing and debossing?

Debossing is the process of stamping a design into a surface so it is indented, while embossing is the process of stamping a raised design into a surface. In a nutshell, an embossed promotional product will see your company logo raised against the background material, creating an almost 3D look. In contrary, debossing is where the logo 'sinks' into the product, itself, creating an interesting effect.

The process of embossing and debossing is similar to pad printing because it involves a “stamp,” however there are some key differences. First, your logo is molded on to a metal plate and stamped down on to your item using pressure and heat to create an indented logo. There are three significant elements that require careful controlling when embossing or debossing a promotional item, namely: pressure, heat and die depth. Luckily, our team of embossing and debossing pros are experts!


  • Can be used in combination with offset printing or foil printing for a more appealing visual effect;
  • It transfers even the tiniest details;


  • The reverse image appears on the other side of the substrate if the material is too thin;
  • Recommended for simple artwork to avoid damage to substrate;
  • Embossed designs rise above the material, which makes them subject to wear and tear.

Embossing and debossing are used to create promotional paper materials and business cards that stand out from the crowd and transpire distinction. These methods of personalising promotional gifts work particularly well on items such as our silicone wristbands, promotional keyrings and corporate diaries, as well as personalised leather goods, too.

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