How Did They Do That? Embossing an All-Over Pattern

A little while ago we here at Jenni Bick put our skills to the test with a difficult stamping job. An all-over pattern embossed with an inset logo, on a modern yellow notebook, posed some challenges that were fun and actually very rewarding to solve.

Graphic design firm Majorminor created a striped pattern design with a small logo set into the field of lines. Here's what the working proofs looked like:

Once the metal stamp (die) was engraved and the print colors chosen, we were ready to begin the physical work. The client chose the Orange Yellow Hardcover Notebook from Moleskine to carry their message. The process began as it always does by unwrapping the books. 

Once the books are prepped,  we attach the metal die or "stamp" to our embossing machine, load up the pigment foil, and after making sure everything is straight and centered the actual stamping can begin.

There are a few important factors that we take into consideration for each specific job; the amount of pressure we are using to make the imprint, the amount of dwell time where the stamp is making contact with the book, and also the temperature make a difference in end result. On top of that there is the question of which color foil will look the best on the notebook.

This job called for a blind impression, so we did a little exploration...

One of the main issues was getting a clean and deep imprint on the cover of the book. This was made more difficult because the size of the die was so large.

Our machine can apply quite a bit of pressure, however the larger the die the lower the PSI (pound or pressure per square inch). This can be thought of in terms of a punch verses a slap. The punch refers to a smaller die that can take a much larger amount of pressure, the slap is referring the to the larger dies like the one we are working with for this project which requires the higher pressure but takes some problem solving to achieve it.

Once we were able to perfect our formula for the cover it was just a matter of process.

First each book was stamped with a matte yellow-orange pigment foil. Because we needed a longer dwell time to achieve the right depth of pressure, there was a lot of excess pigment on the book that needed to be removed. 

After removal of the excess foil, the design began to emerge. We stamped the pattern on each notebook again with a coat of clear foil. This step brought out the contrast we were looking for and gave the books a polished finish.

The last step was to put the final stamp on the back of the book. This was the easiest part as it didn't require a troubleshooting process.

 We think the end result came out fantastic! Let us know what you think.


all photos © Jenni Bick Bookbinding, Inc.