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This takes me back... For embossing, it was tedious use of a burnishing tool. (Though now that I think of it...this would be a great use for a 3D printer--to make the plate.) Foil...I recall using a laser-printer product. It was a sheet you placed on top of your paper, ran through the laser-printer together, and the heat of the laser printer would adhere ...
Lots of great suggestions here, I would add Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton (which also comes with well-documented companion website. It is different from Bringhurst or Tschichold as it contains much more about expression but still contains lots of information about the smaller details in type.
I feel every guy getting into design must follow this for atleast a while http://www.creativebloq.com/ Creativebloq is a direct answer to your question. Its really good, even for beginers. And for tutorials http://abduzeedo.com/
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