An Embossing Tutorial and Some Tips
Choosing the options to personalize your book is as much a personal choice as the book you selected. Think of the embossing lines as the title of your book or album.
Need some inspiration? Click here for some examples of how people have personalized their journals and albums here: Embossing Examples
Rules of thumb:
- Keep your inscription proportionate to the size of your book.
A long inscription won’t fit on a pocket-sized book. Likewise, a very short inscription may look too small or silly on a large album. We recommend no more than two lines on small books.
- Review our suggestions.
Every item page has tips that are specific to that book. We consider the character of the leather, the size of the book, our own experience, and have outlined our recommendations for you.
- Trust us.
Our artisans have years of experience with typesetting and embossing our leather books. We know how to position and space your inscription to make it look best. We’ll follow your instructions, and if we spot a request we don’t think will work, we’ll contact you to help make it better.
- Keep it simple.
Trying to fit a long message on the front of your book can detract from its beauty. Don’t feel hindered, but also bear in mind that several lines of embossing on the front cover can look too busy. Simple is often best. If you have more to say, consider adding a custom calligraphy title page
Unlike with computer fonts, where lettering is digitally reproduced, our embossing fonts are old-fashioned printer’s type. Each character is a small block of metal, with the shape of the letter raised and positioned backwards, much like a rubber stamp. We use these metal letters to spell out your inscription by hand. They are placed into our embossing machine, heated, then pressed into the leather of your book.
We offer three fonts for you to choose from: Goudy, Script, and Old English. Here are examples of each:
Feel free to mix the fonts you choose. You may wish to have one line in Script and another in Goudy, which can look quite beautiful. Using a different font is also a great way to add emphasis to a line.
Capitalization and Spacing
Your inscription will be typeset exactly the way you enter it on your order, with upper- and lower-case letters. We do not recommend using all upper-case letters for a line, unless your inscription is initials or in our Goudy font. All upper-case letters can look awkward, and is nearly illegible when choosing Script or Old English.
Customers sometimes request a line in all capital letters to give that line more emphasis. We have found that it is more effective to use a larger font for lines that need to be emphasized. Please let us know when placing your order if you have special requests about lettering size.
The spacing between each line is determined by the size of the font we use, and is pre-set. Please review our embossing examples to get an idea of what normal spacing looks like. If you prefer your lines to be spaced further apart, we can usually accommodate that request. Just let us know in the notes when placing your order.
Our artisans will work to make your embossing look balanced and beautiful. If we spot a request that we feel will not look great, we’ll call or email you to make some suggestions. Remember that we use our best judgment, on a case-by-case basis, when deciding how to typeset your embossing.
Each font we offer is available in three sizes. Old English is only available in two and both are fairly small. Our experienced artisans will choose the size that is most appropriate for the number of characters in your inscription and the size of the book.
Epica is pleased to offer the ability to emboss your inscription anywhere on the book’s front or back cover. The only place we cannot emboss is on the spine, due to its curved surface.
To emboss multiple lines in the same general position simply select the same position for each line. They will be centered one underneath the other in the order you enter them.
If you want something engraved on the back of the book, just let us know in the notes section during checkout, right before you submit your order. Available embossing positions are: 1/3 from the top centered, absolute center, 1/3 from the bottom centered, bottom center and bottom right.
When selecting the position for your embossing, please refer to this diagram:
You may position each line of your embossing in a different position, or you can choose to have all lines in the same position. If you choose the same position for each line, they will be centered under each other, and placed as a block in that space.
A popular and attractive choice is to have one line 1/3 from the top centered and a second line in the bottom right corner. Placing multiple lines in the bottom-right corner together also looks terrific.
We offer GOLD, SILVER, COPPER, BURGUNDY, BLACK and BLIND embossing. Other color foils can be special ordered for a nominal charge of $20. Blind embossing means creating an impression only with no color.
All colors and fonts are generally appropriate for men and women, young adults and adults.
While it can sometimes be appropriate to choose a different color for each line of embossing, we generally do not recommend it. Keeping all lines of embossing the same color will give you the most pleasing results.
For best visibility, we recommend choosing GOLD or COPPER or SILVER, as the metallic sheen stands out prominently against our richly toned leather. However, gold, copper and silver do not work as well on softer leather. For books bound in our softer calfskin, we recommend BLIND embossing. The heat and pressure of our embossing machine will sear your inscription into the leather, much like a brand. Please refer to the descriptions of each specific item to view our recommendation for color.
28 Character Count
We recommend a maximum of 28 characters and spaces per line, but this does vary depending on the size of the book you choose. Our artists will review your embossing instructions, and if we think that your inscription may be out of proportion to your book, we’ll get in touch with you to make additional suggestions. Remember that smaller books can only accommodate small inscriptions.
Epica offers our embossing options to give you an infinite range of ways to personalize your book. If you’re looking for some fresh ideas, have a look at our embossing sldieshow. Also, every item page has tips that are specific to that book. We consider the character of the leather, the size of the book, and our own experience, and we outline our recommendations for you. If you’d like further assistance in making your choices, please let us know. We’re happy to help!
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24th of February, 2011