Iggesund’s greeting card: a special on art and craft of embossing

greeting card

This new year greeting card is designed by the Taiwanese designer Kevin Chen, who specialises in embossing and foil stamping.

The moose on the front of the card, which symbolises the Scandinavian forests, is a very deep and detailed blind embossing with several levels. The globe representing the worldwide availability of Iggesund Paperboard’s flagship product, Invercote, is a combination of blind embossing and foil stamping in silver. The card has several parts, which are made of Invercote Duo 610 gsm and Invercote Creato 300 gsm.

Explaining the process, Chen said, “Embossing places tough demands on the paperboard – the physical strain and the increased temperature caused by the encounter between the paperboard and the embossing tool. At the same time, the paperboard must be able to reproduce fine details. In my view, Invercote Duo’s strength properties and physical durability are ideal for embossing.”

Hema Java of Java Paper Group, said, “The secret behind Invercote’s strength properties is that the paperboard is constructed in three layers. This makes it possible to vary the fibre composition and thereby to control the physical properties.”

Chen’s focus on embossing was inspired at an early stage by the relief sculptures he saw at institutions such as the British Museum and the Louvre. When he later began his graphic career by designing wedding cards, he used the technique to enhance the recipient’s experience of the card. Another source of inspiration has been Guiseppe Castiglione, an Italian Jesuit who went to China as a missionary in the 17th century and who also painted.

Chen began by producing wedding cards at the beginning of the 1980s. His company also gradually moved into producing the packaging for corporate gifts for companies such as Toyota, Ferrero Rocher, 7-Eleven and Pernod Ricard. Previously, his company aimed to manage as many stages of the production chain as possible. Today, it outsources all the stages except the embossing and foil stamping, over which he wants full control.

Chen is 51 and lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan together with his wife and teenage son. He runs 10 kilometres before breakfast every morning, and he and his wife take every opportunity to participate in marathons and cycling events.

“It adds a graceful and sophisticated feel to my work. With that surface, even blind embossings acquire an unsurpassed elegance,” he concluded.

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