What is Foil Printing/Stamping & How Hot Foil Stamping Works in Printing

By Bestype Printing & Imaging on December 28, 2021
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Foil printing dazzles. Bestype specializes in hot stamp foil printing: applying colorful metallics to unique printed designs. Through the application of foil printing, NYC designers can draw inspiration from our gleaming city skyline. In this article, we’ll explore how centuries-old foil printing techniques are still popular choices for Bestype’s customers.

What is Foil Stamping/Printing?

Hot foil stamping/printing directs pre-dried ink and foil onto surfaces using high heat and pressure. The process sinks customized dies containing designs and text into each item. Pressure melds the foil or ink into the designs and patterns. Leather, vinyl, plastics, and ceramics can all receive metal foil or metallic inks. Creating the dies makes this method more expensive than cold press and metallic ink methods, but hot foil printing is more durable than cold.

How Long Have Printers Used Foil Printing?

Applying genuine gold and silver foil onto paper is an ancient practice. Closer to the modern era, printers developed a technique during the 1830s that used heat and pressure to sink gold foil into bookbinding materials. The 1880s introduced a new hot-stamping technique that substituted less-expensive silver for gold leaf. During the late nineteenth century, Ernst Oeser not only filed the first patent for his improvements to hot stamping presses, but he also developed the precursor of the modern metallic foil we use today. His inexpensive foil was the first not to contain precious metals. These innovations meant that the technique was more accessible than ever before to the general consumer. The foil also took on every rainbow shade besides gold, silver, copper, and bronze tones.

Foil found its way everywhere after the U.S. Civil War. Manufacturers, retailers, bookbinders, and printers capitalized on applying hot foil stamping type to signage and products. Shiny letters and numbers on book covers and labels helped their items stand out on shelves and displays. Stationers’ and printers’ access to foil printing meant that their customers could use metal touches on their business stationery and business cards.

How Do Bestype Customers Use Foil Stamping/Printing?

Your unique foil printing design can grace any item we print:

  • Greeting cards
  • Business stationery
  • Notecards
  • Wedding invitations and save-the-dates
  • Business cards
  • Presentation folders
  • Restaurant menus
  • Diplomas, certificates, and awards
  • Custom book covers and dust jackets
  • Event banners and signs

When you stop by our Soho print shop, we can show you foil stamping/printing projects in progress. You can also apply unique typefaces to your stationery and signs when you choose hot foil stamping. Browse through our font collection and examine the different hot foil stamping dies up close. We also have a sample portfolio of designs in which we’ve collected over 40 years of printing. Every idea can help inspire your next foil printing design.

What Main Advantages Does Hot Foil Stamping Offer?

Bestype offers cold and hot foil printing — NYC graphic designers use it for many of their event projects. We find three advantages of choosing hot stamp foil printing over cold stamping for your projects:

Advantage #1
It’s clean. Hot foil stamping uses foil and not ink, a less messy prospect for our technicians. There are no liquid metallic inks to blend and no unfortunate ink spills to clean. Your design generally doesn’t require touching up when it exits the press.

Advantage #2
It’s consistent. Manufacturers grade sheets of hot stamping foil by lot color. Printers rely on grading to ensure that every item is identical. Customers who choose cold stamping methods like metallic ink printing may discover variations in color in their items.

Advantage #3
It’s durable. After a very long time, the hot-stamped foil may rub away from an item. Because hot stamping leaves an impression on an item, a restoration expert could apply more foil to the faded area.

How Can I Use Foil Printing?

Bestype makes it simple to add shine and sparkle to any printing project. Would you like to receive a free foil stamping project consultation and quote? Stop by and view real-life examples of hot foil stamping for a little creative jumpstart. We’re here to help you design cards, stationery, and more for your next event. Contact us today about how we can help you print your next design quickly and accurately.

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