I’ve always loved official stamps and seals; as a kid I used my dad’s Civil Engineer’s certification stamp to make official looking paperwork and IDs for fun. I was looking for a way to add something like that to the upcoming Giclee line I’ve been working on but I rulled out rubber stamps as I wanted something a bit more subtle. So I recently started looking in to getting a paper embosser made with my signature logo. I was pretty surprised by how easy it was and how great the results are. The pictures don’t really do it justice, but you get the idea. The stamp can be embossed or debossed and it really adds a nice crafted touch to a project. It’s so fun I’ve started just embossing everything around the house; just cool to see the thing work.
The main cost is the press which runs about $200 (seems steep for what looks like a glorified stapler). The dies themselves — the circular part that hold the custom design — are included in this initial cost and are interchangeable. The only issue I’ve run into is with creasing at the edges. Depending on how you stamp it there will be moderate (first photo) to severe (second photo) creasing toward the edges. I am working with the vendor to fix this and depending on the technique I am able to minimize the effect. This may just be an artifact of this particular stamp as most are circular seal designs that fill the entire die, but I’m waiting until I can get it to be almost invisible. To be fair though, the flash is really exaggerating the effect in both shots, the creases really aren’t that noticeable in normal light.
Another fun — and far cheaper — alternative is rubber stamps (see third pic). I had a couple made by the same people and it’s been fun blasting those all over everything. But I was thinking the embosser in particular would be a really good buy for design students wanting to add a little extra something to their projects and also to mark their text books. It really has that old school real-world graphic design feel.
The unit pictured above is a heavy duty desk press from Made to Order Stamp and Seal out of New Mexico. We tried some local vendors initially, but the customer service of Made to Order was much better. They really work with you to determine the best option for your needs, and can turn around a custom job within a week. Highly recommended.