When preparing designs that are to be embossed to a single level, make a sharp photocopy or a black-and-white key line with a tissue overlay and instructions for the die maker. Whenever possible, rules should be 2 pt. or more in thickness, as smaller rules are more difficult to emboss cleanly because of the inherent bevel. For best results when foil stamping, use line art and avoid type smaller than 8 pt. copy with tight, intricate detail may plug.
The artwork should indicate whether a bevel or round edge is desired and the type of stock that is to be embossed. Cover stocks generally yield excellent results, although embossing is certainly suited to thinner stock, such as letterhead stock. It’s important to remember that foil and embossing should be kept away from folds.
A rule of thumb for preparation of artwork for embossing is to make the original slightly larger and heavier than if it were going to be lithographed to accommodate the bevel. Also for greater depth, more letter space (kerning) should be considered in the artwork – again, because space is consumed by the bevel. You should not use extremely small art, although art with fine detail can be produced with good results by working closely with your stamping supplier or die maker.
Artwork for multilevel (combo) dies should also be a sharp black-and-white photocopy or key line with a tissue overlay. For a complex multilevel job, color-code the various levels with felt tip pens.