I have long been a fan of design which incorporates embossing. In my own graphic design work, I often included a blind-embossed element. Strong embossing requires the making of a male die and a female die, in perfect alignment; for each impression, one sheet of paper or cardstock is compressed between the two dies under great pressure.
Successful work requires fine craftsmanship, selection of a paper stock which can survive the pressure without the tearing of fibers, and careful registration. Generally, any color printing on the item was/is completed before the embossing step, which means that the successful completion of the print run ends up in the hands of the embosser, who must do his work in perfect registration to any inks already laid down.
Embossing is done under great pressure, in all senses of the word.
Examples of embossing can be found across a wide range of printed ephemera . . . valentines, invitations, dance cards, trade cards, letterheads, postcards, book covers, labels, greeting cards, postage stamps.
Here is small sampling . . .