What Is an Embosser?

Updated May 10, 2017

An embosser is used in a number of ways to add decoration or design to several different materials. It can be used to raise or indent a material in a three-dimensional form. Embossers can be personalised or custom-made. They are highly effective in making a uniform mark or logo on several types of materials, including card stock, photos, leather, metal and stationery.


The embosser adds texture and distinction to different materials. The purpose is to identify, personalise and embellish the material. It is also a cost-effective way to label or add signature to items. Instead of purchasing ink and stamping a design on materials, a company may elect to emboss the image. Once the embosser has been made the only added cost is the labour of the embossing.


Embossers typically come in manual forms that require a pressure applied to a handle. This pressure forces a plate to push the design into the material. There are also heat-based embossers that function in the same way but with heat instead of pressure. Commercial embossers work just like hand embossers. They require pressure but can be built to run with the push of a button; they can complete hundreds of embossments per hour. Some embossers allow the user to have multiple design plates.


Sizes range from handheld devices to large machines that operate in assembly line fashion. Embossers can be an all-in-one item or they can have many intricate parts necessary for adding the design.


A classic example of an embosser is the seal used with wax to seal an envelope. Letterhead and personalised stationery may have embossed designs on them. Scrapbooking fans use an embosser to further personalise their photo albums with a bit of flair. Notaries public and post office staff use an embosser to put their approval or stamp on items. Event invitations are embossed to show logos or initials. Braille is written using an embossing typewriter.

Ideal Embossing Material

The following materials can be embossed: leather, card board, foil, plastic, steel, card stock, paper, gold, silver, platinum, iron, aluminium, zinc, tin and lead.

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About the Author

Sarah Harding has written stacks of research articles dating back to 2000. She has consulted in various settings and taught courses focused on psychology. Her work has been published by ParentDish, Atkins and other clients. Harding holds a Master of Science in psychology from Capella University and is completing several certificates through the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association.