Embossing and Debossing are the processes of creating either raised or recessed images. Embossing requires an etched metal die (female) and a matching counter die (male). The paper stock is pressed between the heated die and the counter and the image is pressed into the back of the stock to create a raised image. The same process is used to indent or deboss the paper. Both processes can be achieved using a one level die or a multi level die. A one level die will produce a raised, flat look and a multi level die has a 3-D look with many levels.
Embossing without using ink or foil is called blind embossing. Combination stamping involves foil stamping and embossing with a combination die, one pass through the press.
Register embossing involves embossing to a printed image. This is the most difficult form of embossing because it requires registering exactly to the printing.