Embossing stamp for matte boards

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Graeme Hird, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Does anybody know the best people to approach to get a stamp made with which I can emboss a matte board? Would I approach a jeweller or a machinist?

    I would like to "punch" a bas relief signature or logo into the matte boards of my framed prints, but don't know the first thing about obtaining one of these personalised punches.

    Cheers,
     
  2. BarrieB

    BarrieB Member

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    When I worked in a Bank years ago the Manager had a SEAL like you mentioned which he put over his signature to avoid the document being copied; Try a 'Quality Stationery supplier.
     
  3. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I'd talk to matte board manufacturer or a large-scale print shop that handles commercial brochures and such, Graeme. Embossing dies (made in a matching pair) are often used on heavy cover stock and such. Whether they would work on matte board is the question. The last time I explored that option for printing, a set of dies cost several hundred dollars. There may be alternate methods that would work better for matte boards, and less expensively, too.
     
  4. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    A chemically engraved embossing die can be had from dies shops that service the printing industry. You could mount the metal plate to a thick handle with some good epoxy, backing it up with sufficient support, so you can use a small hammer on the other end to strike the image into the paper. Or you could look for something similar to the notarys embosser that the die can be mounted in. If you use a great many it may be worth contacting a printer that does embossing to see about having them do it for you, the quality of the work will be much higher.
     
  5. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Although the sound of the dull thuds probably hasn't reached Oz yet, Graeme, a couple of additional thoughts stuck me.

    Woodworker supply houses often list a heat-based marking tool that is somewhat like the old-style wooden-handled soldering irons for labeling furniture pieces and such. The end of the tool has a small, flat plate that has the craftsperson's personalized logo (or whatever), and essentially wood-burns that into the wooden object.

    You might also explore "foil stamping" as an alternative. A Google search will turn up various references.
     
  6. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Traditional foil stamping involves the use of a flat dies similar to the embossing die. The foil is pressed between the heated die and the paper surface and the foil, under pressure and with the right amount of heat, is transferred to the paper. It can be tricky to make it work on rough surfaces. One the other hand the foil can be used with a heated stylus to mark paper by hand, a woodburning pen with a rounded nib works well.
     
  7. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    I started thinking about this a few months ago after seeing somebody putting something similar on their mattes in an exhibition. I saw the same thing again on the matte of an 80 year old framed print a couple of weeks ago, so I thought it might be a simple thing to find some sort of punch to which my logo could be attached.

    There is some good leads to follow so far, but I'm sure we haven't reached the answer yet. A chemically engraved steel stamp sounds like what I'm after. I could press the image into the matte board with that.

    And I thought those dull thuds were the sound of my own thoughts trying to get out of my thick skull. It makes me feel so much more comfortable to hear they were yours Ralph. You must have big thoughts for me to hear them all the way over here! :smile:
     
  8. argentic

    argentic Subscriber

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    I made my own emboss stamp from a large stainless bolt with a nice flat head. I carved my logo in it with a dremel and a very fine diamond milling cutter. Now I stamp all my fiber prints with it in the lower right or lefthand corner. A light blow with a small heavy hammer, and some rubber under the print is enough to make a classy indelible mark. Still the emboss stamp is only visible by side lighting. When looking straight at the photograph you just don't see it. This solution makes a unique and indelible mark on the front of the print without interfering with the image.

    I guess it would work on matte board too.
     
  9. roteague

    roteague Member

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    It sounds like it would be quite unique. I may have to look out for something like this.

    In the meantime, there is a photographer in Swan Hill, Victoria that uses a small brass plate etched with his name, that is mounted on the frame itself. You might look into using something like that. Here is a link to a page that shows what his looks like: http://www.nalderphotographics.com/framing.asp. I've been to his gallery and like the way these look.
     
  10. David

    David Member

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    I had a couple embossing plates made for a portfolio cover used for a local cathedral. They were made through Zetta Florence here in Melbourne and weren't too dear in price. Phillip is the owner and best contact guy. Hope this might help.
    http://www.zettaflorence.com/
     
  11. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i have an embosser that i got made custom at a shop that makes rubber stamps, like a stationary store. brought him the design, and he did it for maybe $30us. the only think was they folks that worked in the shop smoked about 4 packs a day. so i was almost as gray as they were by the time i left the shop :wink:

    oh, the embosser works well with paper, but i can't imagine doing it with 4ply mat board. if you find one, make sure it has a long handle to give you the leverage you will need to "make your mark"

    good luck!
    john
     
  13. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Always glad to be of service, Graeme. There's so much empty space in my head, the thuds end up being very low frequency, so they travel like a mix between elephant talk and whale song. :wink:
     
  14. happusa

    happusa Member

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    You might check out a leather working shop - all kinds of embossers there.
     
  15. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    When I was an art student majoring in intaglio and lithography, I worked a summer as assistant printer for the contract print shop, which did hand lithographs for various artists. The master printer always put his "chop" mark on his prints. This was on an arches or reeves printing paper, similar to watercolor paper. It was a pretty heavy duty embosser and they probably had it made by a source as similar to what you've been given in previous posts. If you can't find what you want, search for a fine art lithography print shop or printer and see what they have and where they got it. You'll most likely need something with serious pressure.

    Let us know what you end up with. Best.
     
  16. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Some great leads to follow so far. The leather punch idea has come closest to giving me what I'm after, since I only want to indent the front surface of the matte board, not necessarily the rear side of it.
     
  17. BarrieB

    BarrieB Member

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    Graeme, My wife, as part of her Craft Equipment, has a 'FISKARS' Shape Boss, The Ultimate Embossing System, which she uses for making patterns on 'Hand-Made Cards '
    It says on the box :- Add dimention to cardstock, metal foils and vellum. Embellish scrapbook pages, cards, frames and more THATS where your request comes in !!
    Professional results in minutes.
    I has a base with registration pegs and there are two stensils, the base and the top one , the material, ( Card, Photo, Or matboard is inserted upside down between the 2 stensils and then using a ball hear type stylus pen one just traces around the top stencil stretching the card / photo/ foil to make a raised impression. I can send you more details or a sample embossing if you wish. Fiskars sell many sets of stencil sets ( mainly patterns ) inc Alpha / numerals.
    Cheers Barrie B. Melbourne
    www.fiskars.com
     
  18. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I was in Barnes & Noble yesterday - they had a display of embossing seals that you purchase in the store, and then send away to have the plates custom made for your application. I don't recall the price - something less than US$20, I believe

    I have several of these (one that says "from the library of" that is supposed to keep books from wandering away, and several that I use as a licensed professional to certify engineering documents). My concern would be whether they are strong enough to withstand use on matt board. My "from the library of" seal came from Barnes and Noble and the dies appear to be metal. But the male half of the dies on the engineering seals (supplied by stationery shops) are some kind of plastic material that I would be afraid would not last long if used on heavy stock like matt board.
     
  19. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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  20. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Oooh, I like that one Paul. Thanks, I'll contact them and see what they can do for me.

    Cheers,
     
  21. kswatapug

    kswatapug Member

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    Stateside, this type of thing can be found at printing binderies. Those are the folks that do all the folding, stitching and glueing of printing jobs. The jackets of many hard cover books are embossed and often foil stamped. A embossed stamp alone here costs roughly $75. But just having a stamp isn't a big help. Many printers won't actually give it to you, wishing to retain control of the stamp to guarantee of your future business. I recently had 7 Prat portfolio covers foil stamped in this fashion.

    The most difficult thing to do is ensure a clean impression. For a small logo, the hammer trick mentioned previously may work, but most printers are using letterset presses, which exert a consistent, even, and tremendous lbs./sq./inch pressure across the entire surface of the stamp which results in a beautiful emboss.

    The Ansel Adams Special Edition prints are now presented with a blind emboss on the mat. They had the mats pre-embossed in large quantities to keep the cost down.

    A local photographer uses another option you might consider. He spent extensive time in the Orient and came back with an ink stamp (about 1" square) with an Asian character that symbolizes his name and vision. He makes an impression on each mat just below his signature, using red ink. Very classy, especially with black and white images, where that lone spot of color constrasts nicely.

    I have a similar stamp given to me as a gift, that I have yet to use. The friend who gave it to my wife and I asked the street vendor in China for a stamp with "QuietWorks" translated to Chinese and a single symbol to respresent the same concept. I am not sure what the word is he inscribed, but I loved the symbol he chose. It is yin-yang.
     
  22. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    GH let me know how you like this stamp I may get one myself. I was wondering if they have any for photographers, maybe with a camera in the center of the stamp?

    Enjoy!
     
  23. onestopdown

    onestopdown Member

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    Based on the original description of the stamping, you are actually looking to DEBOSS, which is impressing into the mat instead of EMBOSS which sticks up through the surface.

    The bad news is that it takes an extremely strong press to be able to deboss a 4 ply mat and many shops don't want to take on this type of job, or charge a lot of money because it is very slow and the thickness of board requires quite a bit of press adjustment. However, if you have access to an etching press, it can possibly be done. (Check with your local college art department) The consistency of drive depth is important to the success of the deboss and the hammer method, while it is an option, is very difficult to control.

    Normally, debossing and embossing requires two dies (top and bottom). However, since a 4 ply mat board has some give you probably don't need the bottom die. The die traditionally was made out steel. Today, you can use photopolymer. This has the advantage of being more durable and cheaper. (Google letterpress photopolymer for places that can do it) Many shops can make it from digital files, while others want line art.

    There are two major types of photopolymer for letterpress printing steel backed and non-backed. The steel backed plates, while they sound stronger, actually don't work as well on the etching press, because the high pressures tend to deform the plate and the steel prevents the plate from reverting to it's original flatness.

    To do the debossing, you should talk to the person in charge of the press in order to adjust it to the thickness of the die and the mat board. It can be difficult to align the die with the board, so an experienced printmaker can help out a lot.

    This procedure takes some trial and effort to find the right thickness of plate and amount of press adjustment needed. But with patience, it should work fine.

    I've also converted an arbor press (from a machine shop) into a debossing press by machining a die holder and a platform to align the mat board under the die. This works ok-more consistency than the hammer and die, but less than an etching or letterpress.

    John