embossed vs debossed

Embossed vs Debossed: What’s the Difference?

When Nike and ad agency Wieden+Kennedy designed a yellow silicone gel bracelet for Lance Armstrong’s nonprofit Livestrong Foundation campaign, they had a promotional hit on their hands. The campaign aimed to get people to take action and to express the theme “It’s all about you.”

A debossed “LIVESTRONG” crossed the top, and the bracelet hit the big time when it was worn by cyclists at the 2004 Tour de France.

Today, gel bracelets are extremely popular and used for all kinds of inspiring promotions for nonprofits, businesses, creative projects, and more.

But what’s the difference between embossed vs debossed, you ask?

To answer your question and help you decide which wristband design to order, we’ve put together some basics about these two silicon gel bracelet design options. Keep reading to learn the similarities and differences.

Then, start designing your own for swag and promotions everyone will love and that’ll get your name out.

Debossed Gel Wristbands

The word deboss means to stamp a word, symbol, logo, or design into a surface so that the word, symbol, logo, or design is indented.

A debossed gel wristband is a silicone bracelet that has the desired design — possibly a word, logo, or symbol — stamped into the gel so that it’s indented below the surface of the wristband.

Debossed wristbands are by far the most popular style, and since the design is cut deeply into the silicone bracelet, your message won’t fade.

The design is usually cut into the silicone using a custom mold created specifically for you. There’s also a laser cutting option.

You can also fill the indented design with another color of silicone or ink to match the colors of a logo or make your message pop with a contrasting color.

Embossed Gel Wristbands

To emboss, on the other hand, is the opposite of to deboss and means to put a design on a surface so that the design — possibly a word, logo, or symbol — is raised up above the surface. If you run your finger over the design, you’ll feel it.

Only the desired design protrudes up. It’s often stamped in from behind to push the front surface out. Think embossed business cards or letterhead.

An embossed gel wristband is a silicone bracelet that has the desired design sticking up from the surface of the wristband. The raised up part is a continuation of the gel in the wristband. It’s not stuck on rather it’s made using a cast iron mold.

It’s only raised up a tiny bit but enough to stand out and be read or seen.

Embossed and Debossed Wristband Differences

While the make and design options are mostly the same for both embossed and debossed gel wristbands, there are a few differences in how the designs can be presented. Let’s take a look.

Added Ink Color

Embossed wristbands are made out of a solid color gel. The design, message, or logo is the same color as the rest of the band.

Debossed wristbands are often made out of a single solid color silicone gel too, but you have the option to paint or fill the debossed design with color ink. The ink is also made out of silicone and comes in many color options.

The color can contrast the gel and pop or it can be more subtle. Either way, it highlights the given design. Our bracelets have a full array of Pantone-color options so that you can fill the debossed design with colors to create a specific image or mood or to match your logo colors spot on.

Laser Print Messages

The debossed message design can be created with a laser. You can’t use a laser to make the embossed message design style.

The laser printing gives you a one-day turnaround whereas the non-laser message designs — even non-laser debossed bracelets — take six to 10 days to be made.

You also have no minimum order number with the laser-printed debossed design whereas the non-laser designs require a 50-piece minimum order.


Debossed silicone bracelets are by far the most popular type of silicone bracelets. Many campaigns and personal customized bracelets use this style after seeing them on the Livestrong campaign.

The embossed bracelets, on the other hand, boast a unique look for those going for something that stands out.

Embossed and Debossed Wristband Similarities

Custom wristbands can be made with both embossed and debossed design styles and designed to create the ideal silicone gel bracelet for you or your organization.

Similarities of embossed and debossed design options here at

  • Made out of the same silicone/rubber/gel
  • Made with 100-percent medical-grade non-allergenic silicone
  • Over 1000 colors to choose from using the PMS Color Chart
  • Come in four width options — 1/4″, 1/2″, 3/4″ and 1″
  • Choose from the same fun fonts

Both styles of bracelets are part of the popular fashion trend of gel wristbands. Whether designed for personal wear, awareness, ombor promotional swag, people love to wear these bracelets.

It’s fun to design them too. Come up with the perfect message, color scheme, size, and design style by mixing and matching options and seeing which pops out as the perfect wristband for you.

You can upload your own artwork. You can play around with different messages or logos or designs. You can also choose from a library of art and designs.

Also, you can mass produce a lot of bracelets with both design styles if you’re looking to do a big campaign.

Take Your Pick Between Embossed vs Debossed

Now that you know the differences and similarities when it comes to embossed vs debossed silicone gel wristbands, you’re ready to choose and create the wristbands for your swag.

To start, take a look at our custom rubber bracelets for all your options and give us a call if you have any questions or if you want to talk about your design ideas.

We’re here to help you pick the right gel wristband design, color, size, phrasing, and everything that goes into that fun bracelet that everyone wants to wear!

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