Guide to Embossed and Debossed Labels

Guide to Embossed and Debossed Labels

Embossed labels add visual and tactile interest to your product line. Whether you opt for an elegant, reserved design or a bold, eye-catching attention-grabber, embossing and debossing can subtly impact a buyer’s selection.

What is embossing and debossing?

Embossing and debossing both use metal plates to add texture to paper, foil, metal and more. These methods have been used in art, design and manufacturing for centuries.

An embossed label includes raised areas on the surface, while a debossed label features indentations. Product manufacturers use these methods to draw attention to certain parts of the label, such as the brand name, logo or a specific design element. Not do the labels feel different from standard versions, but the raised or indented surfaces catch the light from different angles. When combined with other design options, such as spot gloss or foil, your product is even more likely to stand out from the crowd.

Embossing should not be confused with foil stamping, where heat and pressure are combined to imprint foiled designs. However, the two processes can be combined to create a truly unique appearance.

What to consider when using embossed labels

There are a few key points to consider when you want to use embossed labels. First, labels are embossed after the printing process, before the backing and adhesive are applied. This ensures that the label application process doesn’t vary much from non-embossed labels. However, if you plan to use a print-and-apply machine to add lot numbers or seasonal promotions, avoid printing on the embossed/debossed area.

Next, consider your label material. If your product will be exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures, embossing can prevent a challenge. Plastic label materials like BOPP do not emboss well. You may be able to imitate the embossing or debossing effect with multiple layers of ink, or by using paper labels with protective coating, but the finished product won’t have the same look as a genuinely embossed label.

When it comes to the label design itself, less is more. Try to keep your design simple and judiciously limit embossed areas. The more design elements you include, the more likely the labels will look distorted upon application. Instead, try choosing one or two areas to highlight. For example, you might emboss the border of a label to draw attention, or include an embossed pattern for subtle texture.

As you receive label proofs from your printer, test them on your chosen containers. If any elements look distorted, consider whether embossing less of the label or a different area might be a better design solution. While embossing can add plenty of visual and tactile interest to your labels, it’s not right for every product.

Quadrel offers complete labeling solutions for manufacturers and packagers. From wine labels to household products, we’re sure to have a labeling system that meets your needs. To learn more about our products or to discuss building custom options, reach out to our friendly team today.