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The world's first deep relief puzzle | Original multi-layered deep embossed hot stamping | 3D surface texture | Paying tribute to masterpieces - Starry Sky | Using high-quality paper from Sweden.
Deep embossed hot stamping is commonly used in luxury custom products, international boutique items, and artistic creations. It is the pioneering technique used in the creation of the first embossed puzzle. Designers add intricate textures to the flat surface, simulating the brushstrokes of an oil painting in the starry sky, creating a more three-dimensional effect with a sense of depth and movement in the embossing.
Ordinary embossing can only achieve a thickness of 2mm. The Backer World team dedicated nearly a year of development to create a multi-layered deep relief of 6mm. The embossed hot stamping technique, combined with specialized molds, produces an art puzzle that can be seen and felt by the naked eye. The Van Gogh Starry Night puzzle is the first embossed puzzle that satisfies both visual and tactile senses, reinterpreting the craftsmanship of paper and the definition of luxury.
The backing paper used is the renowned IGGESUND cardboard from Sweden, known for its solid thickness and tactile feel, which enhances the three-dimensionality of the embossing. After completing the puzzle, to prevent the hollow space underneath the embossing from losing its original support point and thus losing its three-dimensionality, an additional backing paper with deep relief of the Starry Night scene is included with the puzzle. Placing the completed puzzle on this backing paper will enhance the overall appearance of the embossing.
How To Develop?
The entire process, starting from the initial flat design to 3D modeling, mold design, mold carving, trial molding, paper selection, hot stamping temperature testing, embossed printing testing, trial production, and mass production, took a full year of development to cater to different effects and requirements.
Some of the most challenging and crucial steps in the process are:
1. 3D Modeling and Brushstroke Rendering:
Converting the flat design into a 3D file and meticulously drawing the intricate surface texture (simulating Van Gogh's Starry Night brushstrokes) and texture (capturing the dynamic movement of the starry night and the multi-layered depth presentation).
2. Paper Selection:
During the initial design stage, careful consideration must be given to the pattern design and paper selection to avoid bursting and indentation during post-production. In the process of embossed hot stamping, insufficient pressure can make it difficult to showcase the imprint, resulting in the loss of texture. On the other hand, excessive pressure can cause the paper to tear. When printing embossing with a thickness of up to 6mm, the choice of paper becomes crucial. The Backer World puzzle exclusively uses special paper from Europe and the United States, solving the problem of using overly soft paper.
3. Die-cutting and Mold Design:
Different from traditional flat rolling methods, to achieve a depth of nearly 6mm in embossed printing, we abandoned the use of conventional printing processes and redesigned high-strength specialized die-cutting molds, combined with modified heavy-duty industrial stamping machines for processing, to create a more organized and delicate texture.
4. Hot Stamping Temperature Control:
Typically, zinc plates used for hot stamping can only achieve flat surface hot stamping. However, embossed hot stamping uses molds to stamp the pattern while performing the hot stamping process, resulting in more details and a three-dimensional effect compared to flat puzzles. After multiple improvements and experiments, the ideal temperature and time for embossed hot stamping were developed, enhancing the tactile experience of the puzzle.
This seemingly simple puzzle goes beyond the traditional use and surpasses the beauty and quality of ordinary puzzles!
Design and Mold: As mentioned above, we first scanned the flat image of Van Gogh's Starry Night and then meticulously drew the 3D lines, stroke by stroke, for the clouds, sky, starry night, and distant buildings. During the drawing process, we had to consider the aesthetic sense of the distance between the stars, moon, and clouds. Finally, it was carved into a mold.
Hot Stamping Temperature and Time: Unlike previous small-scale wedding card production, the 1000 pieces of 75 x 50 cm puzzles are relatively large. Therefore, we had to test the hot stamping temperature and time from 40 degrees up to nearly a hundred degrees. The dwell time also varied from 0.1 seconds to 2 seconds, with a 0.2-second interval. We conducted thousands of tests to achieve the perfect result we have now.
Imported High-quality Art Paper from Sweden: In contrast to the recycled paper commonly used for puzzles, this time we used imported paper from the renowned Swedish paper mill, IGGESUND. IGGESUND not only supplies Apple but is also a supplier for luxury brands such as Audi, FENDI, Macallan, and more. Apart from luxury goods, the exclusive import for this project is a 2.02mm double-layer cardboard, which provides a solid tactile feel.
Swedish IGGESUND cardboard, known for its solid tactile feel. Image source: IGGESUND product introduction.
The embossing mold for Starry Night.
The embossing height of nearly 6mm in this project is indeed a great challenge that tests the craftsmanship of the artisans.
Creating a colored embossed hot stamping puzzle requires simultaneous attention to both the embossing and hot stamping processes.
During the development process, it was discovered that due to the hollow space underneath the embossing, the original support points would disappear once the puzzle was assembled, resulting in the embossing appearing shorter. To solve this problem, a separate backing paper with the same depth of embossing will be included. Users can place the completed puzzle on this backing paper to recreate and enhance the full view of the embossing. This allows users to enjoy two multi-layered deep embossed hot stamping versions of Van Gogh's Starry Night for the price of one.
When assembling the puzzle, it is recommended to place the backing paper underneath the puzzle to achieve the complete view of the embossing. This will enhance the overall appearance of the embossed design.
Color hot stamping puzzle and backing paper.
Q: What are the dimensions of the puzzle?
A: For the 300-piece puzzle: 38 x 26 cm (including backing paper approximately 40 x 28 cm).
Q: Can I use a regular puzzle frame?
A: Please note that regular picture frames may not be suitable for the Starry Night relief puzzle, as the relief puzzle has a thickness of 6mm, and regular frames may flatten the relief effect. It is recommended to inquire with the store before purchasing a puzzle frame to ensure that the frame can accommodate a 6mm relief puzzle. If you choose to frame it yourself, please instruct the framing professional not to cover it with a protective film, as it will cause the relief effect to disappear completely.
Q: Will the relief texture degrade over time?
A: The Starry Night puzzle features a thick cardboard and hot stamping embossing technique, ensuring that the relief effect remains intact and does not flatten over time.
Q: How can I attach the puzzle to the backing paper?
A: You can assemble the puzzle first and then use double-sided adhesive tape to attach it to the backing paper.