What is Hot Foil Stamping?

What is Hot Foil Stamping?
A foil stamping process involves the use of metal dies, heat, and pressure in the printing process to apply foil films. You can create matte, metallic, holographic and many more textures through this stamping.  

Printing Process

For over a century, foil stamping has been used for creating products like business cards, baby announcements, scratch-off lotteries, wedding invitation ideas, holiday cards, presentation folders, book covers, save-the-date cards, and best for hexagon boxes etc.

It is excellent for dark-colored surface printing, but the stamp printing process differs from silk screening or pad printing. The reason behind its variation is there's no involvement of ink; therefore it does not change the look or feel.

Types of Foil Stamping Methods

There are two types of hot foil stamping methods used for stamping foil. 
  1. Traditional Hot Foil Printing 
  2. Digital Hot Foil Printing

1. Traditional Hot Foil Printing 

A metallic plate is first etched or inscribed with the design in the traditional foiling process. Then the design is transferred onto the print surface using the foil printing machine by heat and pressure.

If you have more than one color to print, you have to prepare separate dies for every color, and then you can print different colors by applying them one by one.

2. Digital Hot Foil Printing

Digital hot-foiling printing machines function similarly to traditional hot-foiling machines. The process of digital foiling is very similar to that of conventional ink printing. Foiling multiple colors or designs only requires one run of the machine. 

There's only one difference between them which is the foil attached to the surface in Digital foil printing. Digital foil stamping does not require any separate die preparation, and the graphic design is digitally printed on the substrate using a foil that sticks to it. 

Common Types of Foil Used in Foil Stamping

To give the packaging a different optical effect, foil comes in several different types.
  • Metallic Foil
  • Pigment Foil
  • Holographic Foil
  • Pearl foil 
  • Scratch Foils

Metallic Foil

Metallic foil, also known as a metalized foil, is used to make the area or text shiny like metal / cardstock. You can use gold and silver foils to give an attractive look to the box. It is primarily used to give a luxury touch to the packaging boxes, wedding card, business cards etc. 

Pigment Foil

Pigment foil does not have a metallic look, but other than that, it is similar to metallic foil. This foil is more likely to catch a vast audience because it has a wide range of colors available with glossy or matte textures. You can choose any pigment foil color according to your business color combination.

Holographic Foil

Holographic foil is used when you have to create multicolored cards, boxes and so on in 3D. It makes them more attractive and eye-catching. There are a number of collaborations that uses these type of foils, including baseball cards and packaging boxes.

Pearl foil 

Pearl foil is an iridescent effect added to the packaging box. As these foils are primarily available in sheer or transparent colors, so used to give more shine to the colors on the boxes.

Scratch Foils

Scratch foils are mainly used on promotional items as they are meant to be scratched off quickly so the promotional code or text behind them can easily be seen. They are perfect for a temporary cover. Most of you have seen scratch foils on recharge cards and lottery tickets.

The Benefits of Foil Stamping

The benefits of the hot foil stamping are given below.
  • Foil stamping does not use ink, so the color of the text or the printing will not change or fade.
  • It will give a glossy and metallic look along with a luxury touch.
  • Due to their metallic and light color, you can use these foils on any dark-colored surface.
  • A wide range of finishes can be achieved with hot stamping.
  • With this eye-catching technique, you can also stand out from the sea of competitors.
  • You can enhance packaging add-ons appeal by using foil stamping on your packaging. 
  • Most importantly, it is eco-friendly and easily recyclable.


Foiling Die Making 

In order to design a foil, a foiling die is prepared based on the pattern and the color / type of foil. There are three types of metals used for the making of foil die.

Magnesium Dies

As shown by the name, magnesium dies are made from magnesium. This chemical element is readily available in the market at a low price and is typically soft so that it can be easily shaped into any pattern. Lastly, let me tell you, it will not last long, and you have to replace the old magnesium die with the new one in a short period. 

Copper Dies

Due to the excellent conduction of electricity, copper has high demand, that why it is more expensive than magnesium. It is a long-run player along with more durability than magnesium but it takes longer to inscribe and is heavy in weight.  

Brass Dies

Brass Dies are the strongest and most expensive of all of these Dies. They are most durable and prepared through a CNC system in which different-sized drills are used to shape brass into the Die.

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