Products and Services

>Embossing

Our skilled craftsmen can create embossing or debossing dies for use on a variety of surfaces. We can create multi-level or sculptured dies from your camera ready artwork, drawing, sketch or sample. Additionally, we can provide color register, vinyl applique, foil embossing or stamping dies to meet the needs of your project.

  • Click here to view some examples of our embossing services.

Material Selection

Dies for use on letter press operations are primarily made of brass, copper or magnesium and in some cases steel. Dies from any of these materials can be used for embossing and combination foil stamping and embossing.

While each material has strengths and weaknesses, the selection is usually determined by the method of die preparation instead of the features of the material. The typical processing method for each material is:

Brass is produced by pantograph or hand engraving

Copper and Magnesium are produced by photochemical etching

Steel can be produced by either method.

Embossing

All types of material will work for an embossing die. You will need to assess your needs to determine which type of die will best meet your needs.

For single level designs, magnesium and copper dies can be used and generally have a shorter lead time and a lower cost. However, they tend to have a shorter press life and there are some limits to the etching process. The etching process creates a softer image without the crisp corners and edges usually associated with embossing dies. This often affects the appearance of the finished product.

A machined or hand engraved die may take a few days longer or cost a little more but it will give you the best overall results. Even a simple one level machined design will appear deeper than an etched die because of the crisp corners and ironed out surfaces that machining can produce. Additionally, if you desire a domed or rounded design a machined or handtooled die will produce a crisp rounded bevel instead of the soft face type bevel of an etched die.

A sculptured brass die can provide infinite and realistic detail. With a sculptured die you can create different layers to a signature, the feathers of a bird, wrinkles of a face or smooth curves of a statue. The definition of hand work is almost limited by nothing but the formability of the materials that are being embossed.


Flat Foil Stamping

Flat foil stamping is one of the few places an etched die will rival a machined die. To produce a foil stamping die all material must be removed to leave the lettering or design standing. Because there is only the surface of the design without a beveled edge, there is less difference in the results obtained from an etched die. Since the cost of an etched die is determined by the square inches of the design not the detail or intricacy of the design, it can be more cost effective.

However, designs with fine lines or with small reversed out areas may not lend themselves to etching. A design of this type may require a machined die. When machining a die by using different tooling, you have the ability to vary the depth of the background or support thin lines with steps instead of the normal etched bevel.

The length of the press run is also a consideration when selecting your die. Magnesium dies have a shorter press life than brass dies. If the design has a long press run or if you expect it to repeat often, you will want to consider a brass die. A single brass die may turn out to be more cost effect than multiple magnesium dies. A copper die will have a longer life than magnesium but since it will be etched it will have the same limitations. In most cases a copper die will have a shorter life than a brass die.

Combination Stamping

An etched die whether magnesium or copper can not be used to produce one pass foil embossing. Two dies will be required, one die for foil stamping and one for embossing, and two passes through the press. In most cases, a machine produced brass die can make a combination die that will both emboss and apply the foil in one pass. This is can be done with both single level and intricately detailed sculptured dies.

Steel Dies

Steel dies have not been included with much detail in the above descriptions. Although steel dies will give you the greatest press life the cost factor has all but removed them from the industry. The advantage of steel over multiple brass dies is primarily in the ability to harden the die.

Steel dies are still used in embossing metal or plastic that is thicker than .010 inch. This requires dies and counters to be produced allowing for the thickness of the material between the dies.

Counters

Counters are being created in many cases by press make-ready instead of the die maker because of changes in counter materials. Counters produced by the die maker will reduce the amount of make-ready the pressman must do.

 

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1262 Round Table Drive
Dallas, Texas, 75247

Phone (214) 638-1262
Fax (214) 638-5432

Last updated: June 17, 2008
webmaster@joyceengraving.com