Engraving Vs Embossing: What Is Best for My Project?

Engraving and embossing are two commonly utilized material marking processes that create unique designs. During embossing, a die set is used to press a design into your desired material, while engraving needs a tool or laser to cut a design in the material directly. These methods have their unique attributes, so you should consider their pros and cons before deciding which will be best for your project.


Engraving involves cutting a design onto a hard surface, especially to make a print. A tool or laser can directly cut out a design in metal, wood, or other materials during engraving. As such, you must remove material during engraving to create your desired inscription or sign. There are different types of engraving, including rotary, hand, and laser engraving.


Embossing is the process of producing sunken or raised designs on paper, metal, and other materials. You can feel embossed designs and images because they’re raised above the surrounding area and are three-dimensional. Embossing is quite similar to engraving because both techniques are used to produce depth in materials, whether it’s for a design or lettering.

How do they differ?

During the engraving process, you achieve the engraved style by removing trace amounts of material by hand, using a laser, and so on. On the other hand, a die is used during embossing that raises the material (card, metal, sheet, tin, etc.) to either the same level from beneath or different levels using a multilevel die. This creates a three-dimensional impression. Embossing utilizes all existing materials to produce its effect. It’s common to find business cards, tags, leather belts, and wedding invitations designed using this particular technique.

Choosing between engraving and embossing

  • Speed

There’s no clear winner between both processes, as each has its unique sets of advantages and disadvantages that you must consider for your particular project. Speed is one key consideration for projects, and engraving is somewhat time-consuming. On the contrary, embossing is notably quicker than engraving in creating marked images. Therefore, you might want to go with embossing when speed is a topmost priority for your project.

  • Details

Embossing might be the quicker of both methods but engraving offers a more sophisticated and striking level of detail that you can feel and see. This reality is especially true for laser engraved products. A CNC machine, for example, allows professionals at The Engraving People to make complex imagery and logos on various materials. Therefore, engraving is undoubtedly your best bet if details are essential to your unique project.

  • Lasting Design

Engraved letterings and designs are less likely to degrade or fade with time because they’re recessed and enjoy excellent protection from the elements. On the other hand, embossed logos and designs are exposed to the elements, so any damage may make the design or lettering illegible. On leather, for example, using the wrong type of material will cause your embossing to fade quickly. As such, engraving should be your go-to option if longevity is a priority for your project.

Author: Editorial Team

Share This Post On