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Everything you need to know about Hot Foil Stamping

By April 13, 2022News

Use hot foil stamping to achieve a beautiful, shiny finish on everything, from business cards and birthday cards to product packaging and letterhead. This versatile technique has an impressive history and offers lots of options when it comes to creating a truly unique design that ticks all your boxes. If you’re new to hot foil stamping then this is everything that you need to know about the process.

Where does hot foil stamping come from?

It’s thought that this technique was first used to add gold leaf to very important manuscripts. However, because humans love shiny things, that’s not where its use ended. Gold leaf was soon being brushed onto everything, from book spines to photo frames. Early uses of this technique were far less efficient – today hot foil stamping has evolved into an easy and straightforward process that anyone can use.

How does it work?

Today, we don’t tend to use gold leaf when it comes to hot foil stamping – instead, a thin sheet of foil made from aluminium or tin is ideal. There are both automatic and manual options for hot foil stamping today – the best one for you will depend on the volume of stamping that you need to do and the speed at which you want to do it. You can use a manual hot foil stamping machine for slower, smaller jobs or a pneumatic machine if you are dealing with high volumes. In either case, the process is very similar.

  • Metal dies are etched with the design that you’re going to be foil stamping.
  • Dies can be made from magnesium (a softer metal so it will not last as long, ideal for short print runs) or copper, which is very durable and long-lasting but slightly more expensive.
  • The die is heated up and placed onto the material, with a thin layer of foil in between.
  • The metallic effect is rendered when the die is applied to the foil, thanks to the heat of the die and the application of some pressure.

What are the options?

  • You’ll be able to choose from different types of foils in order to create your final design. These include metallic foils, pigment foils, which are matte or gloss colours, pearlescent foils or holographic foils.
  • Hot foil stamping is ideal for business stationery, promotional materials, packaging, invitations and many other different applications.
  • Choosing hot foil stamping adds both textural and visual appeal. Final designs not only look great but can also be felt, adding an extra reassuring sense of quality.

Why use hot foil stamping?

There are lots of good reasons to use hot foil stamping in your designs, especially if you’re keen to ensure they stand out and have a distinctive, ‘pick-me-up’ appeal. Hot foil stamping can also be used to help establish a luxury aesthetic if you’re keen to sell products at a higher price point and to convey a sense of occasion or festivity.

If you’re new to hot foil stamping this is everything you need to know about it – but if you do have more questions then get in touch.