Technique and multi-sensory effects with Embossed paper

03 Dec

Posted in Graphic Specialities

Favini offers a wide range of embossing, collated within the Embossed swatch: from Classic linen and striped, to leather and hammer effect, as well as textures inspired by nature and geometric designs.

According to the Collins dictionary definition, “EMBOSS“: means to mould or carve (a decoration or design) on (a surface) so that it is raised above the surface in low relief. [1]

Continue reading and discover the different embossed surfaces offered by Favini and some application examples.

The origin of embossing: From kitchen to paper

The French word meaning to emboss is gaufrer. The gaufre, or in English, the waffle, are the sweet treats with a characteristic grid appearance.

Waffles, or gaufre, are the sweet treats with an embossed surface that take their name from the French surface finishing technique to materials: graufrer = embossing.

Gaufre were cooked with special irons, called grofreurs: Two circular metal plates fixed together and positioned on the fire. These were already in use in ancient Greece but it was during the Middle Ages that they were used for the production of waffles, often with designs that were imprinted onto the waffles. Over the years the grofreurs have evolved into the instrument as we know it today – the waffle iron –  it was invented and patented by Cornelius Swartwout approximately 150 years ago. [2]

From food industry origins, the embossing process is also used in other industries, such as the paper industry. Here it is used as decorative effect to the paper surface by transferring a design from an embossing cylinder onto a sheet of paper.

For more information on the paper production process, read the article How paper is produced.

Today, the term embossing means the process by which a relief design is impressed on to a smooth material.  To create an effect such as of the texture of leather, the grain of wood, a brand logo, geometric or creative patterns, the material is passed through a form to stamp the design using pressure and possibly heat.

In addition to paper, there are numerous other materials that are suitable for to this type of work: fabric, leather, wood, plastic, metals.  In general, it can be applied to any material that can be reformed in their mass or fibre without danger of break.

Through the process of embossing these materials can be embellished with special designs and textures, logos and trademarks can be imprinted; the embossing is used to reproduce on to a plain product the appearance of another material. It can also give the surface of a material a specific mechanical quality to allow it a specific special use.

Initially embossing was carried out using flatbed presses, where the surface to be embossed was placed on to a smooth and hard surface and applied under pressure to a plate of copper or steel on which the design was engraved in relief.  Today this process is replaced in the main by the use of embossing cylinders.

In Favini paper is embossed using embossing cylinders. Discover the whole paper production process in the article How paper is produced.

Favini has a specialist embossing department and this is where the paper passes through two rollers to give a three-dimensional texture and customizes the finish.

Embossing: A visual and tactile approach to enhance packaging and graphic projects

Paper is one of the materials where the embossing process is successfully used to transform the surface. By using these surface finishes, paper can transmit an exclusive and three-dimensional tactile sensation, adding and new value to the paper.

The choice of exquisite tactile surfaces is a key aspect in the design of luxury packaging and printed materials. Especially beneficial for packaging, the embossed surface becomes a fundamental aspect to exploit the feeling dictated by the initial touch with the product’s presentation: sensations that stimulate curiosity to discover the product as well as to make it desirable to the eyes of the consumer.

By adding the design in relief to paper, embossing creates a depth and materiality, as well as an exclusive tactile perception.

Embossed paper becomes a material to be perceived both by sight and touch. The textures use the refractions of light and shadows to enhance the surface of the paper, whilst at a tactile level they invite us to touch and caress the surface and discover its texture.

The Tube paper, thanks to the special tactile leather effect of Hide embossing, invites us to caress the surface of the paper.

In addition to being an exclusive material, the ability of paper substrates to be transformed into a different material from a perception level and to take on new textures that can convey an emotion both visually and to the touch, puts embossed paper among the preferred materials used for luxury packaging and printing.

Embossing in the paper industry: Favini’s Embossed offer

Attention to the tactile aspect of packaging makes us always research and create new materials and designs that can provide a new and unusual stimulus.

The Embossed swatch, brings together the wide range of embossing effects offered by Favini, making it possible to understand how an embossing can enhance packaging, thanks to the special samples made on white, metallic silver and black supports.

The optical characteristics of a paper, such as the shade or the degree of gloss, may alter slightly before and after the embossing process and is due to the different angle of the reflection of light onto the paper surface.

The Embossed swatch gives us the opportunity to understand how the same embossing creates varied plays of light and shadow, as well as different tactile sensations, across papers of different shades: white, black and metallic silver.

Favini’s Biancoflash paper is available in six different embossed finishes in both Premium and Ivory shades.

We added these finishes to some of our brands: Biancoflash offers six different embossing finishes; Classy Covers and Cover Line, the ideal papers for use as covering and box wrap are available with a canvas and a Millennium embossing effect; in addition are  Remake, The Tube and Lunar which we will discuss in more detail below.

Classy Covers is available in a TT embossed version, for a canvas effect; MN, the Millennium and LN classic linen embossing.

Carapace, the embossed effect on the eco-friendly paper Remake

Remake, the Favini paper from creative reuse of leather, has in addition to its smooth version, available an embossed Carapace variant.

The Carapace Remake texture takes inspiration from beetle’s shell.

The Carapace emboss adds a luxurious feel to the Remake range. This uniform but asymmetrical design of the Carapace emboss takes its inspiration from the delicate texture of the pattern from beetle shells, adding a texture and depth to the paper.

The cover of the “Passports of the Islands” by Sirene Journal, made with Remake Carapace Sky.

Hide, the new luxurious leather-effect emboss on The Tube

Hide is the embossing that adds a new tactile sensation to The Tube, the matt range of papers . Launched at Luxepack Monaco, the texture with its elegant leather design responds to the latest trend of look & feel materials with its matt surface reminiscent of and transmitting the emotion of fine leather goods.

Detail of The Tube paper with Hide embossing reproducing a leather effect.

The Hide texture stimulates tactile experimentation lending itself to being worked and printed to create a unique end product.

The Hide texture of The Tube responds to the latest trend from the world of materials that prefer surfaces that are capable of transmitting emotions and new tactile sensations.

Mini and Nexus, the two micro-embosses that enhance Lunar

All the subtleties of Favini’s Lunar metallic paper are available with two surface finishes: Nexus, reminiscent of satin fabric and the micro-emboss of Mini conferring a softer feel.

The very fine design of Lunar’s Nexus embossing is reminiscent of satin fabric.

Lunar is characterized by its special luminescence, the effect of reflectance of light is created by a combination of metallic pigments and surface which has a very fine textured embossed finish that invites touch to initiate a multisensory experience, adding this third dimension to every printed piece and luxury packaging.

The Exploring Taste box made using Lunar micro-embossed paper.




[1] “Emboss

[2] “A Brief History of the Waffle Iron

Share this post
Latest news posts