Embossing produces a raised image on the paper surface. Conversely, debossing is an inverted form of embossing in which a relief plate is placed under the sheet of paper as it is run through a press. That area of the paper is thus lowered, rather than raised. Embossing has some very practical uses – from the printing of names and numbers on credit cards, to a notary's seal, to the creation of braile – and debossing is seen commonly in the soft plastic wristbands like Lance Armstrong's. However, the embossed and debossed products we create are considerably more elegant. By the use of special uninked metal dies, heat, and pressure, a pattern is pressed into paper when it is dry. This is usually done using card stock or heavy paper.
Embossing is primarily an accent process. When used with ink it is called color register embossing, and blind embossing when done without ink. Embossing can also be combined with foil stamping to achieve combination stamping. Most types of paper and boards can be embossed and there are seldom restrictions on size.