F is for Foil Stamp
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F is Foil Stamp
Although foil stamping is a common, well-known special effect these days, the range of possibilities is quite vast. Foil stamping is a heat-stamp process of transferring pigment, clear or metallic foil to paper. It can be combined with embossing to create a dimensional image. Foil stamping is called flat or hot-stamping when there is an absence of dimension. Foil stamping was originally developed to replicate gold leaf in the late nineteenth century. Today, you can find a wide variety of gloss, dull and pastel foils called "pigment" foils along with the traditional range of "metallic" foils. And don't forget those patterned, holographic foils that shimmer with the colors of the rainbow with crazy patterns to delight the eye. Foil stamping brings serious shine to any project. Here are some technical tips:
- The smoother the surface, the shinier the foil. Coated sheets tend to stamp brighter than uncoated sheets. That said, color and texture lend themselves to beautiful results with foil stamping. Some foils are formulated for different surfaces. Consult your finisher for the right combination and always test.
- While it is possible to foil stamp fine details, it is difficult to hold open fine reverses. For example, the inside of the letter “e” often plugs up if the type is smaller than 8 points.
- Foils can be overprinted with ink for even more creative possibilities. Always test the foil to make sure that it allows the ink to properly adhere before going to press.