Which embellishment should I use?

What embellishment should I use?

Embellishments are a great way to really enhance your design and print. There are a few to choose from, but do you know what they are and how they can be used? Read on to see if these would suit your project.


Die-cut shape

This is more of a finish than an embellishment, but can still make your design into something a little special. Die-cutting is used when you need a custom shape for your project. This could be anything from a simple circle to something more elaborate like a pineapple!

A die is made up of wood, rubber and steel blades. The shape of the die is laser-cut into the wood and the steel blades are bent and shaped into place. The die is lowered into the paper, and the sharp blades make the cut of the shape.

This basically means we are able to mass-produce shapes, so there is no need for scissors or a knife and it is consistent and professional for every item.

Die-cutting is used for products like presentation folders, packaging and boxes, however they can be used for almost anything. Stickers, invitations, POS items or even book covers, just to name a few!


blue foiling

Foils provide visual interest to your design and are an obvious choice when you want to show elegance without distracting from the overall message.

It is a premium process of printing, which uses a metal die of your element you need foiled. This could be text or a graphical element. This die is used to stamp the foil onto the paper, creating a really beautiful look.

In addition to the classic gold and silver foils, you can also choose from a selection of metallic colours, including everything from green to red, and even black or pearl. These foils can be glossy or matt.

Foiling can be used for most things, however, there are a few rules to using it. Your foiled element should be an ai or eps, not a jpg, as you need the edges to be clean and smooth. It needs to be a solid colour, no gradients. Your element cannot be too fine or you run the risk of breakage or it not sticking. Use foiling to make a business card pop or enhance a company brochure. It will give off an expensive feel to your product.

Embossing & Debossing

embossing and debossing

Embossing is the process of creating raised or “carved” designs into paper to create a 3D effect. This is made by a metal die being pushed into the paper from underneath.

Debossing is the reverse of embossing, creating an indent by stamping the metal die into the front of the paper.

Both processes work well on thicker stock, and can be used together with ink or foiling. You could also consider blind embossing or debossing is when no ink or foiled is used with it and it is simply the emboss or deboss on the page, giving it a regal look.

Spot UV Varnish

spot UV varnish cover

Spot UV Varnishes are one of the most effective ways to stand out from a crowd, creating an eye-catching contrast between the stock and the varnish.

The UV refers to the ultraviolet light that sets the gloss varnish and this is what catches the light. The spot refers to a portion or a “spot” the varnish covers, rather than the whole area. The process involves using a thin film (the die) over the paper to make sure only the elements are covered in the varnish that need to be, creating the “spot”.

The varnish can be matt or gloss, as can the stock, which can make some lovely contrasts. For example, a gloss spot UV over a uncoated stock can really create a beautiful look and strong contrast. Blind varnishes are also great, where there is no ink behind the varnish, and so the element can only be seen when the light catches the varnish.

Spot UV varnishes can be used with just about anything. Consider a blind varnish on a business card to really make your logo stand out, or on the front od a presentation folder or corporate brochure.

Use one or a combination of these embellishments and really make your printed collateral pop and make a difference to how your customers perceive your business.

Want to know more? Let us know and we can advise and assist with your design or printing!