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Sculpture Emboss Die

Foil Colors

Sculptured Combination


What do you do at McIntosh Embossing?

We are masters of the time honored crafts of embossing, foil stamping and die cutting. Most of our work is done for the graphic arts field.

Are you a printer?

Nope. There is not a drop of ink in our shop.

What products do you work on?

We work on greeting cards, corporate folders, packaging of all kinds, stationery, report covers, sports cards, labels and anything else that might need to grab a viewer’s attention. We work on paper, static cling, cloth, chipboard, plastic and even leather and thin metals.

Who are your clients?

Printers who have projects that require techniques beyond printing, graphic designers who value traditional concepts of beauty, packaging companies who need “pop” at their point of purchase, and corporate print buyers who want covers and folders that stand out from their competitors’ materials.

Are you related to Macintosh computers?

Unfortunately not, but we have a couple.

Are you old fashioned?

Our crafts are. They suggest value and uniqueness, and they bring to mind traditional techniques that predate the personal computer and internet. (But we can take your files electronically; preferably in an illustrator file, outline form. Fax us a hard copy so we don’t get confused.) Most of us are young, by the way.

Are you speedy?

Oui, Oui. Dies for foil stamping, embossing and die cutting can be made in 24-48 hours in most cases, and we can usually fit a job on one of our fourteen presses pretty soon thereafter. We can fit your schedule; we won’t remake your schedule.

Are you easy to work with, or are you more interested in keeping the process mysterious and hiding behind the curtain like OZ?

We, like Dorothy, are open-hearted, adventurous, and looking for friends.

Will you help us so we know what to expect when we order from you?

We keep samples, and more samples so you can easily anticipate what your order should look like. We hit foil samples on our paper stock. We create die cut dummies. We have the experience and we can make you comfortable. Tell us what you’re hoping to achieve. We’ll help you get there.

Is there a foil color to match every PMS color?

No, but close. Our foil color charts feature seventy-two foil colors, though it is no means a complete list. Give us a PMS number to match and we’ll provide a sample.

Can small typefaces be foil stamped or embossed?

In most cases, yes. Problems can arise with very small type faces (six points or less) on uncoated, heavily textured stocks. In general, the smoother the paper, the cleaner the foil stamping appears. Also, keep in mind that metallic foils tend to be cleaner than pigment foils. Small type can be embossed, but bear in mind that the smaller the type, the shallower the depth.

What papers emboss the best?

Long-fibered, uncoated papers emboss the deepest. Coated sheets also emboss well, though not as deeply. However, by using a broad-beveled die, the illusion of depth can easily be created.

What papers emboss the worst?

Papers covered with ink cannot be embossed very deeply because inks tend to crack when stretched. Also, the flecks and color variations of some papers tend to camouflage some fine emboss detail.

What determines the depth of the embossing die?

Embossing depth varies depending on paper and design. In general, uncoated stocks emboss more deeply than coated stocks because they will stretch more, though both emboss better than ink- coated stocks. Ink-coated sheets emboss less deeply because inks tend to crack when stretched. Unless specified, we always attempt to create an embossed image of maximum depth. To achieve that, we manufacture many of our embossing dies with bevels. They allow the paper to stretch more, and bevels also create shadows which give the illusion of even greater depth.

Do you emboss leather journals?

We are able to emboss leather. But, if you need to personalize a single leather journal, we are not who you’re looking for. After set-up and die costs, it becomes a very expensive process. (Die costs start at $110.)

Do you make hand embossers?

No, but you can find them at some stationery stores.