On the contrary to the (un)popular opinion that personal stationery is a thing of the past, we believe that its ability to make a powerful statement and a memorable connection is as meaningful now as it has ever been. We don’t deny the value of digital communication – you are reading this text online right now after all – but one does not need to exclude the other, but rather give it greater significance. In an era of hyper-connectivity and social media, we lust after something real, something concrete, something personal. And the growing popularity of personal business cards proves this.
Personal stationery, specifically business cards, is a small but valuable piece of branding real estate, and designers are becoming superb at maximizing its value. Designing a business card offers numerous stylistic design options, and in such a small product, every detail matters. But there’s one option that’ll help you stand out among the masses, and I mean literally stand out, and that is embossing.
Embossing and debossing – two sides of the same coin
Embossing is a printing technique that alters the surface of the paper by providing a three-dimensional or a raised design. The technique requires two separate printing plates, one that has a raised design and the second one in a recessed form. The plates fit into each other in a way that when the paper is pressed between them, and the fibers of the paper squeezed with the right pressure, the raised plate forces the paper into the recessed plate, and so creates a permanent embossed impression. Debossing is similar to embossing, but recessing the design rather than raising it. In a sense, they’re the two sides of the same coin.
The terms “embossing” and “debossing” are used depending on which way the main relief is “bossed” – in or out. The difference between the two is, that in an embossed print the design is raised against the background, while in a debossed print the design is sunken into the surface of the paper (but in both, sometimes, the printed design might also somewhat protrude on the reverse side).
Blind embossing creates a unique, contemporary look that fits nicely in the realms of the minimal design trend
The twenty examples below showcase a specific embossing technique that is also growing in popularity among designers. Blind embossing creates a unique, contemporary look that fits nicely in the realms of the minimal design trend. In blind embossing, no ink or foil is used to highlight the embossed area, so the change in the dimensional appearance of the paper is the only noticeable difference. The blind embossing technique provides a distinctive yet subtle effect that is thought to convey sophistication and taste.
For more business card design inspiration, read our previous 26 of the Most Inspiring Business Card Designs.
Blind debossed letterpress print business cards designed by Pop & Pac, printed by The Hungry Wordshop.
Blind embossed business cards printed for Tone and Detail. Designed by Work Smiths, printed by Studio Dot.
Business cards for Kevin Hamon with blind embossed pattern, designed by Hamon studio. printed by Elegante Press.
Blind embossed business card for der ProtoTyp, designed by HAGEN GESTALTUNG, printed on BLACK700 (exclusively available by Europapier).
Embossed half-arch business cards with white ink for the Steph Car Designs, designed by Oak + Ivory.
Blind debossed business cards designed by Poble for their own design studio based in Spain, printed by Granja Grafica.
Embossed double-sided business cards with painted edges for documentary photographer Therese Debono, by Pandology and printed by Elegante Press .
Debossed textured business card for graphic designer Alberto Ojeda, designed by himself, printed by El Calo Tipo.
Carta Fragrances business cards include a subtle embossed background pattern, designed by Kim Lewis Studio.
L’Observatoire International business cards include a debossed and embossed logo detail, designed by Triboro Design.