Digital Embossing: A New Era in Print Technology

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I received some amazing print samples today from my printer of choice, RCS, here in England (BTW, this is Not an affiliate article!).

The samples I was sent demonstrate a new technology that isn’t even available until next year – Digital Embossing.

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To quote the RCS information pack:

Digital Embossing is a post print process which applies a high build varnish patented ink jet technology.

The varnish is flash cured to form a hard crystal clear raise. Digital embossing gives a finish which may initially be compared to spot UV varnishing. But it is better, ten times better, because the ‘lift’ is more than 500 microns (0.5mm) which gives the effect of embossing your work. Of course if you want a thinner layer we can do that too.

Here are some more images of the embossed card samples:

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As can be seen, the raised-varnish areas look superb. It also feels great running your fingers across the texture—I can’t wait for an opportunity to try this technology out. A major advantage is that because the process is digital, every print can be totally unique. This wasn’t possible before, as “true embossing” was tagged with high setup-costs for just a single file setup.

The setup of artwork for Digital Embossing is as simple as setting, say, custom Pantone® colours in other channels of a Adobe® CS application file.

What do you think of this “new era in print technology”. Would you use it?

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16 thoughts on “Digital Embossing: A New Era in Print Technology”

  1. Catherine Azzarello

    This is a truly sexy print technique.

    Are the embossed pieces recyclable? Generally varnish is a no no for that reason. Though if you’re printing digitally, I’m assuming the runs are lower in total number of pieces.

  2. Andrew Kelsall

    @Catherine → Hi! Yes it’s much greener. The RCS information pack states that unlike UV lamination, digital embossing uses very small amounts of powder and produces No waste or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s); this complements Green Credentials.

    Thanks for commenting—and your concern for the environment.

  3. Ross Simmonds

    Would I use this?

    Of course I would. This is amazing. So much potential – I would be surprised if this wasn’t a mainstream thing within the next 10 years.

  4. Andrew Kelsall

    @Ross → Yeah, I think this method is going to be huge in the future. I think I’ll use it on my next business card print run…once I’ve given away the 3600+ I already have 😉

  5. mtension

    Kind’a makes you want to reverse engineer every brief until you can make this process fit. Really sweat.

  6. Gareth Coxon

    Interesting stuff Andrew, only hope this isn’t an overused technique in the near future.

    But if used correctly this could really add value to a design.

  7. Andrew Keir

    “Interesting stuff Andrew, only hope this isn’t an overused technique in the near future.”

    I told my girlfriend about this and she immediately said “uuugh, that’s going to be on everything in a few years”

  8. Rob Cubbon

    I just hope a client of mine will go for this in the future!

  9. Andrew Kelsall

    Gareth & Andrew → Only time will tell, but maybe it won’t be overused; there’s still a premium price attached, just not too pricey…

    Rob → Yeah, I’d be good to try this out while having someone else pay for it 😉