Foil stamping is one of the most visually pleasing add-ons in the packaging industry. It can take your simple product packaging to the next level.
However, we begin singing the praises of foil stamping; let’s go step by step and study all about it.
A Brief Look At Foil Stamping
Foil stamping, or hot stamping, first rose to popularity in the 19th century. This method is based on relief printing.
For a better understanding of the process of foil stamping, we must look at relief printing.
Relief printing is a method in which a printing block is used to apply ink to the substrate. The non-recessed surface of the printing block will leave ink on the paper.
The above concept is used in foil stamping as well. A die is mounted and heated. Below the die, a metal film is placed, followed by the substrate (packaging material).
The die presses down, carrying the metal film and heating it on the way to the substrate. Since the metal foil is heated, it becomes malleable and easily impresses the substrate.
The result is a visually engaging piece that can reflect light off its surface. That happens because the reflectivity of metal is much more than packaging paperboards.
The evolution of the process has seen various foil coatings be used. Furthermore, custom manufacturers allow clients to pick and choose between different foil shades.
As with other add-ons like embossing, debossing, spot UV, and window patching, you can incorporate foil/hot stamping on any packaging material.
That said, you get the best results when using it with smooth stocks like cardstock and rigid paperboard.
Various Forms Of Foil Stamping
There are many classifications of the foil stamping process. They help you cater to different substrates while choosing the finish you want.
The following are the different hot stamping types:
- Flat Foil Stamping
- Vertical Foil Stamping
- Sculpted Foil Stamping
- Peripheral Foil Stamping
Let’s go into their details to learn how they benefit your custom packaging design.
Flat Foil Stamping
This is one of the most common forms of foil stamping that offers a smooth, glossy finish on all types of paper substrates. It works best on uncoated papers and boards.
The flat sheet ensures that the finishes don’t stand out too much from the base of the substrate. That means that your stamped design can look subtle or become the main feature of the piece depending on its size and shape.
Vertical Foil Stamping
This form is created through V-flanging, which gives you what we call ‘V’ foil stamping. It offers an embossed effect on the board, which is glossy in appearance.
With this method, almost any aluminium foil can be used to create a different finish starting with ‘foil-like’ matte finishes through its high tension state or highly reflective shiny ones.
Sculpted Foil Stamping
This method uses sculpted moulds that come in various shapes and designs. With this technique, you can make creative embossed designs with widely used aluminium and copper foils.
This approach of foil stamping is more versatile because of its variety of textured effects and high level of detail.
Peripheral Foil Stamping
This foil stamping method uses a squeegee to push against the folded foil sheet. It uses the tension of the foil sheets for its multi-dimensional effects.
That is not the only choice you have for foil stamping. As you can see, you can opt for various finishes—these range from gloss, matte, metallic, holographic, gold, and silver.
Different Foils For More Personalization
One of the main advantages of designing custom packaging for your brand is that you have complete control over various aspects of the packaging.
Likewise, you have control when opting for foil stamping too. You can also pick and choose the foils you want to stamp, apart from the different stamping techniques.
The following list will tell you about some of the most popular foils used in the packaging industry. They are:
- Metallic Foil
- Matte Foil
- Gloss Foil
- Holographic Foil
- Special Effects Foil
Let’s see what these foils offer.
This foil has a highly reflective surface created through aluminium or steel. It gives you more control over what colour of metallic foil you want. The following are the most popular types:
- Gold Metallic Foil
- Silver Metallic Foil
- Shiny Silver Metallic Foil
- Copper Metallic Foil
This foil type gives you a smooth, matte finish that can be highly reflective or display a subtle sheen, depending on the material used.
This foil is created from a combination of aluminium and plastic. It has a glossy, smooth finish that provides exceptional print quality and brilliant colours.
This type of foil has an iridescent finish that displays different colours when viewed from different angles. Highly reflective metallic foils are often used to create this effect.
Special Effects Foil
This foil combines aluminium and holographic foils that come in various colours. It can create stunning 3D visual effects like leather, pearl, or marble.
The Hot Stamping Process
The hot stamping process revolves around pressure and heat. To achieve high heat and pressure, you need dedicated equipment.
It uses heated dies to transfer text and images onto plastic films, metal sheets, or cards. The foiling die is etched with the required design before starting the foiling process.
The die is heated and carries the foil to the substrate. The image is then transferred to the surface that is being stamped. That leaves behind a raised version of your design on the packaging.
Usually, the dies are made using brass, magnesium, or copper.
Benefits And Final Word On Foil Stamping
With foil stamping, you have a lot of advantages as a brand. You can create attractive packaging through superior print quality and a high level of intricacy.
The following are some more benefits that you can expect from foil stamping:
- A range of designs, colours, and textures to choose from
- Sophisticated embossed effects
- Higher opacity of colours for greater impact
- More durable and long-lasting
On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages to foil stamping. Such as:
- Limited choice when it comes to budget-friendly packaging alternatives
- Higher initial investment cost
- Fewer options when it comes to customizing designs, sizes, and shapes
The best thing about using stamping is combining the technique with other printing techniques and creating exceptional custom packaging.
So how will you be using foil for your next packaging project? Would you like us to help you design modern masterpieces? Feel free to connect with our team at Plus Printers today!