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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    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.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Medium Format
    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?

    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    8x10 Format
    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.


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