Offset printing offers so many creative options for making your printed materials unique, but perhaps none as impressive as foil stamping.
Used alone or in combination with embossing, you can create a virtually limitless array of effects. Today, printing companies use two methods to achieve this, known as hot and cold foil stamping. You can also create a metal effect using spot color offset printing inks.
So how do you determine which approach is right for your project?
What Is Foil Stamping in Offset Printing?
Foil stamping creates the appearance of a realistic metallic finish in offset printed materials. The foil is stamped on after the ink is laid down on the paper or cardstock. You can use this technique to create everything from large, solid metallic surfaces to fine details, depending on your design.
This process is achieved by applying thin foil paper to the printed surface, typically using heat and pressure. Once the stamping process is complete, your printer will apply a sealant to improve the durability of the foil effects.
A cold foil technique is also used in some cases. However, cold foil stamping does not produce the depth of shine that hot stamping does.
Foil Stamping versus Metallic Ink or Embossing
Metallic inks used in offset printing are a type of spot color, a pre-mixed ink based on the Pantone color palette. Metallic inks create a subtle result, as compared to either metallic stamping or embossing.
Use ink if you want to include metallic colors in your offset printing, but you don’t need or want it to truly pop off the page. This approach may also be preferable if you don’t need your materials to last forever, as the ink can degrade over time and flake off.
Embossing creates a raised surface on the page. This technique is achieved on a letterpress, using the pressure from a die, combined with heat. For a metallic finish, however, you must combine the metallic stamping process with embossing.
You can also choose a debossing technique, which creates indented (rather than raised) areas on the page.
Adding Foil Stamping to Your Offset Printing Job
If you would like to add striking metallic accents to one of your printing projects, contact your printer to discuss which option is best for your needs and budget. You will have to choose which color foil you wish to use. In addition to the standard silver and gold options, you may be able to choose from other foil stock colors.
Sun Print Solutions, based in West Valley City, Utah, can assist you with design and selection of your paper or cardstock. We also offer packaging printing, kitting and fulfillment, depending on your needs. Contact us today to learn more about creating a major impact in your offset printing using foil stamping.
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