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Hot Foil Press
hot foil press

Hot Foil Press

If you want to add a touch of luxury to your designs, you’re going to want to know a bit about foiling. There’s something unique about foil that spells glamour… It’s simply hard to not be drawn to sparkles and shine when it comes to the world of printing. 

Hot foil pressing (or stamping) is a process whereby metallic foil is applied to the surface of the stock using heat & pressure. The result? A truly stunning effect that pulls out details of the design in a metallic or coloured sheen. 

A little bit of history for you: The development of modern hot foil stamping took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the 1930s, an English foil manufacturer introduced atomized gold on thin sheets of polyester film. Hot foil stamping using these rolls of gold foil increased in popularity in the 1950s through the late 1960s.

So, how do we do it?

The design to be rendered in foil is translated into a negative, which is used to etch the design onto a metal block (we like to use magnesium as it has proven more cost effective - & we also like to recycle them - but they are also known to be made from brass or copper).

The block is locked into position on the machine, heated up, and the foil is placed between the block and the surface of the stock to be stamped.

When the block is applied to the surface, the foil bonds to the stock, producing the metallic effect. Depending on the amount of pressure, you may notice a slight impression where the foil meets the stock – though nowhere near as much as you’d see in letterpress as too much pressure or 'impression' causes the foil to 'bleed'.

Even though foiling is an added expense to a standard print job, due to the extra hours and resources that go into the process, it's still a relatively economical method for producing an impressive effect that really ups the luxury factor of your design.

Be sure to check out our Artwork Guidelines for important details to consider when creating your design for hot foil press.