Plate Sinking

Plate sinking also known as debossing is a technique in which an area of the card that is to be printed is stamped so that it is lower than the rest of the card. Text may then be printed or blind embossed onto it. The thicker the card the better the effect.

Debossing in this way is economical and has many creative applications.

The benefits of plate sinking:

  • Excellent for emphasising printed areas.
  • Best results attained with softer, off-white and coloured materials.
  • An economical process that really makes an impression.

Often used in combination with foil stamping, embossing alters the surface of paper stock or other substrates by providing a three-dimensional or raised effect on selected areas. The procedure requires the use of two dies: one that is raised and one that is recessed. The dies fit into each other so that when the paper is pressed between them, the raised die forces the stock into the recessed die and creates the embossed impression. A specific level of pressure is applied to the dies in order to squeeze the fibers of the paper, which results in a permanently raised area in the paper. When the dies are produced, a die maker engraves the desired image into several metal plates, which are the embossing dies for use on an embossing press. A thorough understanding of the process will enable a more successful result. Generally, embossing is the process most often employed to attract attention or convey a high quality textural contrast in relation to the surrounding area of the paper stock.

“Debossing” is similar to embossing, but recesses the design rather than raising it. Rather than the paper being raised in specific areas, it is indented. The process involves applying pressure to the front side of a substrate and forcing the material down from the surface. Although it is not as common as embossing, it is occasionally used to provide a different effect or appearance that fits a particular theme. Embossing and debossing on digitally printed applications is an off-line process, which may add a significant cost to the job.

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