Embossing is a technique for creating three-dimensional designs on paper. Embossing paper produces either a raised or a lowered surface, with the latter referred to as impressing or, in some circles, “debossing”. Print work with embossing creates a unique and tactile design that embodies a subtle but memorable element that ensures that you’ll make an impression.

The embossing process is done by a letterpress—a printing machine with raised plates that is covered with ink and pressed onto paper. The letterpress methodology dates back to the 15th century. Press hard enough and it will produce a depression on the paper.

In this showcase, we highlight some great examples of impressed print designs for your inspiration, printed by some of the best letterpress shops.

Studio on Fire

Studio on Fire is a letterpress printing workspace and design agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They also run the design blog called Beast Pieces, where they feature posts about their letterpress work.

Live Current Vol.02 CD

Live Current Vol.02 CD

Erik Brandt "Sometimes" CD

Erik Brandt "Sometimes" CD

2010 Studio On Fire Letterpress Calendar

2010 Studio On Fire Letterpress Calendar

2009 SOF Calendar

2009 SOF Calendar

Iron Beast Poster

Iron Beast Poster

200 Year Calendar

200 Year Calendar

Augmented Reality Drink Coaster

Augmented Reality Drink Coaster

Sublimio Unique Design Formula

Sublimio Unique Design Formula

Falling Deer

Falling Deer

2008 AIGA MN Design Camp System

2008 AIGA MN Design Camp System

Boxcar Press

Established in 1997, Boxcar Press is a leading letterpress based in Syracuse, New York. They’ve worked with companies such as Domino’s Pizza, Barnes & Nobles, Sony BMG, and AOL Time Warner. Their business revolves around a sustainable printing model, using materials that reduce the impact on the environment.

P22 Type Foundry

P22 Type Foundry

Boxcar Press open studio invitation

Boxcar Press open studio invitation

A modern letterpress shop’s identity

A modern letterpress shop's identity

A historic train car rendezvous

A historic train car rendezvous

Papermint press

Papermint press

lake effect holiday card

lake effect holiday card

The Mandate Press

The Mandate Press is a modern letterpress shop based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They have a saying in their workshop, "Everything looks better letterpressed."

Adam Taylor

Adam Taylor

The Mandate

Adam Taylor

Amelia Lyon Photography

Amelia Lyon Photography

McGrew

McGrew

MINDPUNCH

MINDPUNCH

Cowboy Christmas

Cowboy Christmas

Cranky Pressman

Cranky Pressman is the online letterpress shop of Graphic Touch Letterpress Company in Ohio. The print shop dates back to 1934. Cranky Pressman works with designers such as Mikey Burton, an illustrator and graphic designer who has produced work for clients such as The Sundance Channel, Wired Magazine, and MTV2.

Cranky Depression

Cranky Depression

Sarah Marie

Sarah Marie

Don’t Lose Heart

Sarah Marie

IJM Letterpress Identity C/U

IJM Letterpress Identity C/U

Art Finger Close-up

Art Finger Close-up

Reddy Or Knot

Reddy Or Knot

UnDisign

UnDisign

Jackson Hill Photographer

Jackson Hill Photographer

Jason Lindsey

Jason Lindsey

Peculiar Pair Press

Peculiar Pair Press is the graphic design studio and letterpress printing shop of Mary Beth Fiorentino and Amy Hayson.

Jingle & Mingle

Jingle & Mingle

Bayer & Borlase

Bayer & Borlase

Your Wedding Day Magazine

Your Wedding Day Magazine

Splendora

Splendora

Dovecote

Dovecote

Taste of Ink Studios

Taste of Ink Studios offers a wide range of design and printing services, but they are most known for their expertise in premium and specialty cards, including silk, die-cut and other unique print mediums and techniques.

penny lane

penny lane

lux fine jewelry

lux fine jewelry

swiss

swiss

lethal dose 50

lethal dose 50

Bella Figura

Bella Figura is an eco-friendly print shop in Syracuse, New York with a client list that includes Barnes & Noble, New York Fashion Week, and Sony BMG.

Palais

Palais

Tara

Tara

Herald

Herald

Nigella

Nigella

Kathryn

Kathryn

Fieno

Fieno

Author:

Isaac is the Co-Founder and Chief Editor of Design Instruct. He has experience in various design and art related fields including design, illustration, and photography. He's in charge of making sure that Design Instruct publishes high quality content that professional designers and digital artists demand and expect. Get in touch via email and on Twitter as @designinstruct or @IAMTHEGUBE.